Holistic Health – Our approach
Whilst the word ‘holistic’ brings to mind complementary and alternative medicines or an approach that bridges Eastern and Western medicine, at Uniquely Health we are taking the dictionary definition of the word to guide our practices.
considering a whole thing or being to be more than a collection of parts (Oxford)
Rather than addressing symptoms, we look at the whole person and how satisfied they are with their own health. We define health as not just the absence of disease, but how happy and healthy you are.
Why take a holistic approach?
Do you ever feel like you are not at your 100%? Whilst we can all feel like this from time to time, over the long-term this can affect your attitude to life, relationships, work performance and ultimately leave you unsatisfied.
Our mission is to help you feel better and stay healthier for longer. We want you to feel your best, so you can do everything you want in life.
How we measure health
Being healthy means different things to different people. But typically, it refers to longevity, happiness, and the ability to do things. To achieve this, we need the knowledge, skills and confidence to take control of their own health.
A model of health
Prevention is better than cure. Even GOV.UK says so. Poor health is not always inevitable. Health services are increasingly under and are more and more looking to target the root cause of poor health and promoting health of the whole individual rather than treating a single acute illness as it arises (DHSC, 2018). The NHS is overburdened, with little capacity to refocus to prevention – 60% of public funding for healthcare goes to cure and rehabilitation, and only 5% on prevention (ONS, 2018a).
Historically, public health has dealt with populations as a whole – a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, tailoring health solutions to an individual can enable people to look at their health in the context of their own life, their own circumstances, and their own behaviour. Through taking a holistic and preventative approach we can support people to understand their own risks, both in their genetic make-up and from their personal behaviours to empower them to make positive changes.
Securing our nation’s health requires a significant and sustained effort to prevent illness and support good physical and mental health. We need to see a greater investment in prevention – to support people to live longer, healthier and more independent lives (DHSC, 2018)
Keeping healthy is vital to keeping the society productive. Ill health amongst working-age people alone cost the economy around £100 billion a year (DWP & DHSC, 2017). Last year, there were almost 24 million attendances to A&E, up 22% over the past nine years (NHS Digital, 2018). Today, we are spending almost 10% of our national income on healthcare (ONS, 2018b). A shift to prevention will ease the demands on the NHS – making it sustainable for future generations.
In 2020, the life expectancy of a baby born was 81 years (ONS, 2021), statistics show 18 years of these years will be spend in bad health (ONS, 2022).
Whilst there have been general progress in health due to advances in social care, changing attitudes, improvements in environment, wider availability of antibiotics and vaccines as well as healthy lifestyles there is a lot that individuals can do to control their own wellbeing. Over half of poor health and early death can be linked to factors (behavioural, social and environmental) that we can change (McGinnis et al. 2018).
Everyday decisions in how we eat, how active we are and how much we sleep can affect our overall wellbeing.
Helping the whole of you
Holistic health is about caring for the whole person – through providing multidisciplinary support. All parts of the body are interconnected, so they must all be considered together when improving wellness.
Your body is a complex network constituted of many moving parts: physical, chemical and mental which together create a system. A single body system on many other systems to carry out its function, working together to maintain internal balance (homeostasis). As such, if one system is out of kilter, it can have a knock-on effect on your body’s functionality as a whole.
We can use stress as an example that demonstrates the complexity of the body. Whilst stress is a psychological response, it affects our physically systems, our organs, nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system, gut and brain, and can express physical symptoms, such as headaches, difficulty sleeping, weight gain and body aches (Yaribeygi et al. 2017). In essence, one symptom, stress, can put your whole-body system off-balance.
At Uniquely Health, our clinicians will not just run tests, but also ask you about your general health, lifestyle and goals, so they can personal your approach to improve wellness. Equally they do not simply ‘prescribe’ you actions, but rather work with you, educate you and motivate you to make positive changes.
The pillars of holistic health
Nutrition – what you eat and patterns of eating
Exercise – how much, quality and
Sleep – how much, quality
Mental wellbeing – mood, stress management
Community & Connection – conflict, isolation
We all know that we should eat healthier, exercise more, reduce our stress levels and get our 8 hours of sleep, but how? At Uniquely health, we work with the individual’s health data and information about lifestyle habits and goals to determine what lifestyle changes would work with their personal biology. And rather than applying general advice we work specifically with you to help form lasting positive habits through tried and tested clinical techniques.
Holistic health, for us, is about respecting your body as a whole, with all its respective interconnecting parts. Through a tailored multidisciplinary health plan, we can help you feel healthier and happier, and ultimately feel your best.
Start your holistic health journey today
DHSC. (2018). Prevention is better than cure: Our vision to help you live well for longer. Retrieved from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/753688/Prevention_is_better_than_cure_5-11.pdf
DWP and DHSC. (2017). Work, health and disability green paper: Data pack.
Global Burden of Disease study. (2018). The Marmot Review. McGinnis et al. (2002). The case for more active policy attention to health promotion. Health Affairs.
NHS Digital. (2018). Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity.
ONS. (2018a). UK Health Accounts: 2016. Retrieved from
ONS. (2018b). UK Health Accounts: 2016. Retrieved from
ONS. (2022). Health state life expectancies, UK: 2018 to 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/healthstatelifeexpectanciesuk/2018to2020
ONS. (2021). National life tables – life expectancy in the UK: 2018 to 2020. Retrieved from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2018to2020
Oxford dictionary. (n.d.). Holistic. Retrieved from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/holistic?q=holistic
Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T.P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI journal, 16, 1057.