Reza.pngPhoto courtesy: Reza Gunawan

To have a professional career in alternative healing started as a life- long interest for Reza Gunawan. “I started studying holistic healing when I was 12, and then I became a traditional Chinese medicine doctor later on,” he said. In his practice as a holistic medicine practitioner, Gunawan goes beyond just trying to heal existing issues. More importantly, he wants to educate people to take some responsibility in maintaining their overall health.

“The state of our health is mostly a result of daily choices and habits,” Gunawan said. For that reason, he makes it a requirement for his clients to take and graduate from his self-healing class. “I developed a curriculum for my self-healing class in 2004.” For Reza, being healthy is not just about the absence of any symptoms of diseases—like headache, fever, coughs, or stomach ache—as the conventional definition of it dictates. “The concept of health also encompasses the mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, which is why we call it holistic or complete.” He then continued, “When we are healthy in many aspects, we can function optimally in our personal and professional life, and that is what being healthy means.”

These are a few common misconceptions of holistic wellbeing, according to Gunawan

1/3 Curative instead of preventive

We are too focused on curing diseases instead of preventing them, and this is where the natural medicine system emphasises staying healthy in the long run.

2/3 Too specific and less holistic

There is a specific doctor for each body part; examples include ophthalmologist for the eyes, or cardiologist for the heart. However, this approach to health makes us overlook the big picture while, instead, we should look at it holistically.

3/3 Over-reliance towards professional practitioners  

We need to shift some of the responsibilities to ourselves, instead of entirely relying on others, by having new healthy habits and choices to live a quality life.