What is Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person (body, mind, spirit, and emotions) in the quest for optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health (the primary goal of holistic medicine practice) by gaining proper balance in life.
Holistic medicine practitioner / physician believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. In this way, if people have imbalances (mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.
A holistic doctor may use all forms of health care, from conventional medication to alternative therapies, to treat a patient. For example, when a person suffering from migraine headaches pays a visit to a holistic doctor, instead of walking out solely with medications, the doctor will likely take a look at all the potential factors that may be causing the person’s headaches, such as other health problems, diet and sleep habits, stress and personal problems, and preferred spiritual practices. The treatment plan may involve drugs to relieve symptoms, but also lifestyle modifications to help prevent the headaches from recurring.
Principles of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is also based on the belief that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healer and a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and well-being. Other principles of holistic medicine include the following:
· All people have innate healing powers.
· The patient is a person, not a disease.
- Healing takes a team approach involving the patient and doctor, and addresses all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care practices.
- Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms.
Holistic Medicine: Types of Treatments
Holistic medicine practitioner / physician use a variety of treatment techniques to help their patients take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve optimal health. Depending on the practitioner’s training, these may include:
- Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more
- Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, naturopathy, and others
- Herbal medications such as Electro-homeopathy and other procedures
How to Find a Holistic health care practitioner
Holistic providers may include medical doctors, doctors of Ayurveda, naturopathic doctors, and homeopathic/ electro-homeopathic doctors, also alternative medical practitioner. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a holistic provider:
Don’t go to just anyone. As with all professionals, there are those who are good at their jobs and those who are not as good. Before choosing a holistic medicine doctor, get a recommendation from someone you trust, or contact a credible health organization and ask for a recommendation.
Holistic medicine means taking a holistic approach when seeking treatment for imbalances and choosing to live a more balanced lifestyle. What primarily distinguishes holistic healing apart from alternative medicine, complementary medicine, and integrative medicine is that physical health is not necessarily the main focus. Even so, it is often the experience of physical discomfort that will first prompt a person’s pursuit of holistic healing.
It is true that our pains and other physical discomforts demand our attention. This is where the saying “sticking out like a sore thumb’” originated from. It is difficult to ignore the obvious when we are physically hurting. Common sense tells us that we should seek help to alleviate our discomforts. Holistic healing is not an “alternative” to conventional medical care. Sometimes going to a medical professional is the best solution to addressing a dis-ease.
Physical illnesses are the symptoms of a greater imbalance that may or may not have a root cause in the physical.
Holistic or “wholistic” healing addresses all parts of the individual, not just the physical aspect of a person where manifested illnesses are most apparent. Holistic healing is not intended to serve as a band-aid or a one time fix. It is an ongoing journey of discovery in search of more answers and ultimately; living better, being healthier, and striving for wholeness.
Holistic Healing Goes Beyond the Mind-Body Connection:
Holistic healing is really a lifestyle approach. The holistic approach goes far beyond the Mind-Body connection of finding and maintaining wellness. Overall wellness and “wholeness” is highly valued. All parts of a person’s life (physical healing, mental health and wellness, emotional well-being, and spiritual beliefs and values) are considered. Taking a holistic approach involves seeking the tools that will help us attract our desires and find personal power.
A person who embraces the desire to find wholeness within his own being soon learns the importance of tending to relationships, caring for the planet and our environments, having compassion for humankind in general, and accepting and tolerating differences among a diverse population of people.
Role of the Holistic Practitioner:
The holistic practitioner recognizes that our discomforts or pains are merely symptoms of an imbalance. The imbalance could be a physical issue, the result of abusing the physical body through an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, or too little sleep. Or, the imbalance may be the result of mental, emotional, or spiritual needs not being met. No aspect (mind, body, spirit, or emotions) of a person is overlooked when a holistic treatment is sought.
The holistic practitioner looks at the “whole person” in order to make his or her complete evaluation and uses all information gathered before suggested treatments to the client are offered. Keep in mind, not all holistic practitioners are equal, each has his or her own specialty or expertise to offer. It will benefit you to shop around for a good fit. Choosing to go to a holistic practitioner is no different from choosing a medical professional. You decide.