Throughout my journey I have learned that healing encompasses many dimensions and points of intersection. Systems theory is one theoretical approach in my profession--social work-- as it provides a holistic view of a person in his/her environment. I, like all of you, am comprised of many individual parts that make up my own personal system. I interact with these systems on a daily basis and I influence and am influenced by each of them--everything is connected. There is power in knowing that it is possible to strengthen any aspect of the system and have a positive effect on the whole system.
The Healing Wheel includes 3 categories that I believe are at the core of healing-Physical, Emotional, and Passion. These categories are broad and encompass ANYTHING that impacts your healing process--positively or negatively. The point of this Healing Wheel is to demonstrate how healing is not just one part--it is many! Knowing which parts comprise your own Healing Wheel while exploring new parts to expand your Healing Wheel, is an important step towards health.
We are most accustomed, as a society and through traditional medical models, to focus on the Physical category. This includes our symptoms, experience of pain or discomfort, organs and body parts, and the types of information you might discuss with your physician or healer. This is similar to the outer layer of the onion--it is what most of us can see, touch, or easily describe. For many of us, we are most comfortable talking about and exploring this category--there is a tangible quality to it (less confusing or abstract). Television programs, magazines, and social media are rich in physical content--the "how to" lists most of us have scanned from time-to-time
The Physical category includes:
The Emotional category is much more invisible or "behind the scenes of illness." Unless one is outwardly crying, yelling, or laughing, it is not as obvious. The Emotional category is all about our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and sensations. It includes our self-perception, self-esteem, views of the world, and a sense of who we are (do I fit in? Do I like myself?). Our physical health and emotional health are intricately connected--our emotions can worsen or improve physical symptoms. Emotions can even CAUSE physical symptoms.
The Emotional category includes:
This category is the deepest layer of what makes you who you are. It includes all of the things that give you joy, hope, purpose, and zest. It includes aspects of life that might present barriers to healing such as addictions, unhealthy relationships, toxic environmental influences, and limiting beliefs. Spirituality, religion, cultural values and tradition fall into this category.
The Passion category includes: