Holistic Health models

There are five main aspects of personal health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual.

Spiritual health (in my view the most important element) relates to our sense of overall purpose in life. This purpose is found through our values, belief and faith. Having a purpose can help us to maintain a proper perspective and overcome challenges in life. Often people who are spiritual regularly spend time in prayer, reflection and meditation, which also helps to improve their social health.

The Māori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model.  As a qualified ece teacher I know the importance of holistic development in all areas.  Emotional, physical, spiritual & family/whanau.  Mind body & soul! I love this approach to health & wellness & believe natural health & cutting out all those nasty chemicals in our life is beneficial to our holistic health & well-being/Mana Atua 🌿


Hauora[pronounced ho-or-a] (health and wellbeing) is seen in a holistic way by Māori and encompasses more than just physicalhealth or the absence of illness.

Two well-known Māori models of hauora are Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model and Rose Pere’s Te Wheke model.

Te Whare Tapa Whāis a model of health and wellbeing for Māori that was developed by Sir Mason Durie. It is a holistic model of health because it doesn’t just look at a person’s physical health.

In this model, the house stands for our overall holistic health. The walls are the different parts of our health that hold up our wellbeing and quality of life.

The four walls of Te Whare Tapa Whā are equally important. They hold each other up, as well as the roof of the house.

These are:

  • Taha hinengaromentaland emotionalwellbeing.
  • Taha tinana– physical wellbeing.
  • Taha wairuaspiritualwellbeing.
  • Taha whānau– social wellbeing.

Rose Pere’s Te Whekemodel uses the image of an octopus to describe the interconnected aspects of Māori life that are important for learning and development.

The head of the octopus represents te whānau (family), the eyes of the octopus as waiora (total wellbeing for the individual and family) and each of the eight tentacles representing a different aspect of health. These aspects are interwoven and this represents the close relationship of the tentacles.

  • Te whānau– the family
  • Waiora– total wellbeing for the individual and family
  • Wairuatangaspirituality
  • Hinengaro– the mind
  • Taha tinana– physical wellbeing
  • Whanaungatanga– extended family
  • Mauri– life force in people and objects
  • Manaake– unique identity of individuals and family
  • Hā a koro ma, a kui ma– breath of life from forbearers
  • Whatumanawa– the open and healthy expression of emotion

The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) describes it this way:

“Rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.”

Mind, body and spirit — these aspects of each patient are considered to be intertwined and essential to achieving optimal health. Human beings are comprised of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements is another way to look at it.

It focuses on natural healing. 

By definition, holistic medicine is about lifestyle changes, noninvasive remedies and improving the flow of a person’s life-force energy, along with enhancing the body’s own ability to heal itself.

It’s patient-empowering. 

Holistic health is a lifestyle. It doesn’t stop and start when you walk in and out of a practitioner’s office. What the patient does on a daily basis to tend to their mind, body and spirit is as important as any treatment or herbal remediesthey receive.

When we think about being “healthy” this normally means “not sick.” But holistic health isn’t about one sole health component like diet or exercise, but rather an approach to life. When it comes to holistic health, we’re considering more than just the body, but the mind and spirit as well.

Healthy mind healthy life 🙌🏻

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