To contribute to the creation of a healthy, peaceful, unified, just, kind world. This happens one person at a time. It’s my sincere hope that you will be the next one.
To deepen your understanding of the relationship between diet, attitudes, emotions, lifestyle, and well-being. To help you find the meaning in your challenges; meet them with wisdom and courage; and transform them into the vibrant, healthy, happy, peaceful you who has been waiting to emerge. This is the most effective path to good health and happiness.
Wholeness; the heart of things; thoroughness; connections; transformation; authenticity; compassion; respect; communication; inspiration; possibility; integrity; and commitment.
Holistic Solutions for Body, Mind, Spirit and Life
Whole Health Resources, the premier Holistic Center in Pittsburgh, was founded by Deborah Barr in 1985 long before holistic was popular. Our approach to health, weight, and lifestyle issues is rooted in the wisdom and holistic philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other modalities rather than the popular reductionist trends and fads of the day.
Despite modern conveniences and technological, medical, and scientific advancements, people are more stressed, tired, out of balance, sick, overweight, discontent, anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied than ever. Our culture has been looking in the wrong direction for solutions for its increasing health problems.
Whole Health Resources is a place to receive holistic guidance and support that works with your unique body, personality, mental/emotional states, lifestyle; and other factors. We create individualized programs, tailored to each person’s unique constitution, condition, and specific needs. We help clients improve, and often reverse, physical, mental, and emotional health conditions.
We also provide Holistic Life Coaching to help clients understand and transform their lifestyle challenges from a mental, emotional, and spiritual perspective.
We customize workshops, presentations, employee wellness programs and group coaching. Visit our presentations page for details.
For more than three decades we have been helping clients and workshop participants heal chronic, acute and degenerative health conditions; lose weight healthfully, naturally, and sustainably; and create lives they love.
Holistic Rather than Reductionist
Chinese Medicine dates back at least 2,200 years although the earliest known written record of it is The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic from the 3rd century BCE. It provided the theoretical concepts for TCM that remain the basis for it today.
The scope of this ancient holistic medical system is vast. Its comprehensive paradigm for healing is used to determine the source of health conditions rather than covering up the symptoms. It is precise.
Humans are complex beings with interwoven mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects. Each of these aspects influences the others. And we are part of a larger, much more complex world. We are affected by many factors including our environments, our work, our outlook on life, relationships, the seasons, and more.
Modern allopathic medicine is based on a mechanical view of the body and separates us into component parts. Western medicine often focuses on a specific body part, symptom, or ailment, ignoring the totality and interconnectedness of the human body. Reductionism in medical science says that a complex system can be explained by reduction to its fundamental parts.
Doctors look for specific illnesses and use drugs, as well as surgery, radiation, and other medical procedures to suppress symptoms. They separate mental and emotional disorders from the rest of the body, viewing them as diseases of the brain, and often treat them with pharmaceuticals.
A holistic approach sees the body as a whole organism rather than a collection of parts. We treat the whole person rather than the disease and focus on finding the underlying patterns that cause of illness, and making connections between issues that might seem to be unrelated. This is the best way to achieve permanent results. We move beyond simply suppressing symptoms, which is common in western medicine.
You don’t have to choose between Holistic therapies and conventional medicine. They can be complementary. We need western medicine; many people would die without it. Whole Health Resources provides high quality natural healthcare consultations to empower clients in their journey towards good health. We’ve had thousands of success stories and hope you’ll be the next one. Contact us with your questions.
My Story: How This Line of Work Chose Me
At age 17 I picked up one of my brother’s books, Yoga, Youth, and Reincarnation. It offered a path to having a healthy body and understanding emotions. I did the practices on my own until I found a teacher in the small town that I grew up in. At that time I couldn’t articulate how I benefitted; just knew that a yoga practice felt right. I’ve continued to this day.
Fast forward 13 years…
Over thirty years ago I gained a new understanding of food and learned to cook healing foods—quite by accident. My youngest daughter, only 12 months old at the time, developed hives. Her pediatrician informed me that she had food allergies and would have them her entire life. This was at the time I stopped breastfeeding and started giving her cow’s milk products and many other abnormally “normal” foods of our culture.
I left the doctor’s office armed with chemical medicines and had a gut instinct that there was a back side to these drugs. My concern was that her doctor said she’d likely have to take medication her entire life. I did give the medication to her for a day or two to relieve her discomfort.
Then I immediately went to the attic and dug out some books on Macrobiotics that my brother had sent to me. He had been living in Boston and studying this odd way of eating and living. The Macrobiotic philosophy seemed quite foreign and extreme. Hence, the books ended up in the attic.
I immediately changed my way of cooking eliminating cow’s milk products, most animal products, and refined sugar. I added whole, unrefined grains, plenty of vegetables, healthier plant proteins, and other whole foods. Her allergies cleared up in 2 or 3 days, and she only took medication for a day or two. She is now in her thirties and has not had an allergy or medication since.
Eager to Learn More
I attended a week-long macrobiotic health conference in the Pocono Mountains. I was very young and had no health issues. However, after eating whole foods for a week my energy soared, and my mind became very clear and focused. I met people who had a glow about them, a sparkle in their eyes, and a zest for life. I was not seeing this in my world and wanted more. I quickly began formal studies of Macrobiotics in Boston.
In the early 80’s I was one of the chief cooks and developer of recipes in a Macrobiotic restaurant, and later started a whole foods catering business. Word got out about these mysterious foods and my ability to prepare them, and soon people were calling asking for personal cooking services to recover from all kinds of sickness, including cancer. I successfully provided this service for many years.
I had so many people calling me at home for advice during the 80’s, I decided, at the urging of many of those people, to open an office and provide counseling services using nutritional therapy and other modalities to reverse disease.
I taught whole foods cooking classes throughout the 80’s and 90’s. I formally studied macrobiotics in Boston and Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on Nutritional Therapy, Whole Foods Cooking Herbal Medicine, physiognomy (Oriental Diagnosis), Order of the Universe, and Shiatsu Therapy.
I received professional training in Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis on nutritional therapy and herbal medicine from the East West School of Herbology, Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve received similar training from Andrew Gaeddert, master herbalist, author and founder of Health Concerns.
I have studied with many International Spiritual Teachers, contemporary and traditional. This includes Zen Buddhist training at Kushi Institute, Becket, Massachusetts. My extensive yoga practice spans over 40 years, including training at Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Paradise Island, Bahamas. I taught many yoga classes throughout the 80’s.
From my clinical experience, I observed that there is far more to food than what we put in our mouths. Thoughts, attitudes, and emotions can turn the best of food into poison.
From this realization I was led to the Institute for Attitudinal Studies based in Washington, D.C. This modality is characterized as a “Psycho-Social-Spiritual Approach”. I took the Facilitator’s training in Attitudinal Healing and became certified in 1989. I began to include this modality in my work with those desiring to improve their lives and health. The results have been phenomenal in terms of recovery. Attitudinal Healing is a powerful process of uncovering the mental, emotional, and spiritual causes of and solutions for health and lifestyle problems. It has nothing to do with dogma or religion and does not interfere with any religious orientation. Oftentimes it enhances them.
A Catalyst for Change
While yoga and Macrobiotics were the beginning of my journey, my health philosophies are based more on centuries old healing arts and wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other cultures.
This is the short version of how I got to where I am today. I never intended for Holistic Health to be my profession in those early years. My daughter’s allergies were the catalyst for the personal growth and well being of my entire family. Her illness changed the course of my life and what a wonderful adventure it has been. Doors have continually opened. I have grown and expanded and have been able to help many thousands of people reverse health issues and create happier, healthier lives. Perhaps some of your challenges are urging you toward positive change.
Please be open to new foods, expanded ways of thinking, and to all the wonderful possibilities that exist for you. Make friends with food. It is nourishing you and giving you life. Savor it, enjoy it, and give thanks for it. Your relationship with and mindset about food ultimately determines its effect on the body, mind, and emotions.
If you’re looking for an experienced expert to help you create radiant WholeHealth in body, mind, emotion, spirit, and life, I’d be honored to help. I’ve dedicated much of my life to sorting through the hype, studying with masters, and creating thousands of client successes.
Holistic Weight Counseling (overweight or underweight)