We are one. One whole body. We have parts, but we are the sum of our parts. We are one global unit that operates in a unified and co-operative manner to fulfil both the involuntary functions that go on inside us below our state of consciousness that help to keep us alive, as well as the voluntary actions that enable us to live and experience life as a human.
We shouldn't ever be viewed in isolation. We should never be broken down into parts, ever. There is no one part of us that works alone – everything is connected to everything.
For too long we've taken a reductionist stance on helping the human body and being; we've divided, subdivided, micro-divided, and then further divided the body into miniscule parts that we then try to investigate, understand and treat.
And by doing so we lose the forest for the trees. It's like sitting in the front row of a movie theatre – you lose the ability to see the whole picture, or how one part interacts and interconnects with another.
Imagine if we took the same reductionist approach when we explore science. A prime example is water or H20. Hydrogen is an explosive gas and oxygen is a flammable gas. But if we combine the two of them together we get water – the very thing that quenches the flames that oxygen creates.
Viewing them as their individual parts gives us no idea about how they work together, and can, in fact, reduce us to being naïve and uninformed about their unified potential, and the possibilities and opportunities that can be created by their interactions.
As human beings we are no different. A migraine isn't just a head problem. A woman's menstrual problem isn't just a uterus problem. Fat storage around someone's midriff isn't just a tummy or food problem. Back pain more often than not isn't a back problem.
The pains and dysfunctions we experience are the destination point of a series of symptomatic interactions and processes that have gone on inside the body before the body finally speaks up.
Therefore, to better understand the niggles and diseases we succumb to, we need to better understand what biochemical, psycho-emotional, or neuroimmunoendocrinological processes have been at work to bring such symptoms to the surface.
Where do we even start? I guess it's with acknowledgement. Acknowledgement of the fact that we are the sum of our parts, and that our machinery has the capacity to heal – if it's understood as a whole, and if it's fed the right ingredients to enable it to function as it's meant to.
We have four main "bodies" - emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical. To think that they operate alone is naive. We only have to think of a male erection to appreciate that mental and physical processes are at a constant interplay with one another.
Frozen shoulders have been linked to the grief associated with the recent loss of a loved one. Triggering of a new eating behaviour has been linked with aligning oneself with their true-life purpose. Enhanced and more effective breathing patterns have been connected with a happier and more calm peace of mind.
The body is one, and works as such. If we are to understand it better, and treat the various ailments, dysfunction and disease that is becoming freakishly normal these days, then we need to start looking through a wider angled lens.
We need to think and act globally. We need to acknowledge that there are processes that lead to every symptom, and that these are often multifaceted and multileveled – across and within the four different bodies that make us the human being in existence that we are.
To help us as a people be more well and live with greater vitality, we need to do away with the traditional approach of reducing us to parts, and instead adopt a global view of the intelligent thing that is our human body and being.
• Corinne Austin is a health coach and movement motivator (firstname.lastname@example.org ).