Do you have a symptom?
Okay, okay. I'll stop being rhetorical.
When I first started learning about alternative health and living a holistic lifestyle, my excitement wasn't exactly met with the same level of exuberance. I felt alone, but I knew no matter what that I had discovered something that was going to change my life. And it did...180 degrees in the opposite direction...100x for the better. Still, it felt like most of the people around me weren't warm to the idea of eating healthier or being educated on our food system, soil & nutrient depletion and conventional farming practices. That sucked, but I knew I was going to learn a lot, if only for myself.
Since then my urge to draw in believers of holistic nutrition has only grown. While in school, all I wanted to do was shove my new found knowledge in people's faces - my mind was being blown on the daily and I couldn't hold it in! However, now that I'm a practitioner, its evident that a core part of my job is to enlighten people about how holistic practices can be helpful in preventing and rectifying disease and then letting you decide whether it's for you.
With that said, let's start with the reason you're searching for help in the first place - your symptoms. Those crappy, annoying, potentially painful things that just won't go away, no matter what you try. Understanding more about them might help you look at your health in a different light.
What is a symptom?
Basically, it's your body's way of trying to tell you something is off on the inside. They can be simple or complex. Examples include dry red patches on your arms, a runny nose, repeat headaches and aching joints.
Where do symptoms come from?
Chances are the source of your symptom is not localized to where you're seeing it on or feeling it within your body and is a result of an imbalance somewhere else in your body.
Does imbalance = symptom?
In my opinion, this is a bit of a grey area. Sometimes symptoms show up as side effects instead. For example, if your blood sugar is imbalanced you may experience cravings, but nothing feels different. Others, however, may get dizzy or cranky when their blood sugar is imbalanced. Those are symptoms. Regardless, actions/responses/feelings that seems off-kilter should be questioned.
Can you ignore your symptoms?
Symptoms may not show up until your body stopped trying to fix things on its own and has to reach out for help. Think about everything your body has gone through to show you that its not working the way it should. By this time chances are your imbalances are further out of whack than you know, so why prolong the problem? Your symptoms are there to help, not hurt you, and they are nothing to be scared of.
Can symptoms be eliminated?
The answer is complex, but this is where holistic nutrition can really help you. Holistic nutrition focuses on you as an individual, so your symptoms are a big focus of the practice. It sees things happening globally, not locally, and because of this, it is a practice of finding the root cause to the symptoms you're experiencing. Instead of putting a bandaid on your problem by temporarily removing the symptoms, it corrects your deep-seated imbalances, removing your symptoms for good. And before you ask, yes, there is always something that can be done to minimize or eradicate your symptoms.