Table of Contents
- What Is Holistic Medicine?
- Holistic Medicine for You
Have you heard of holistic medicine? Do you know if it works? Well, we certainly know it does.
In any case, holistic medicine is not much different from traditional medicine, but there is a very strong distinction between the two. The former heals the person as a whole, whereas the latter treats a symptom.
Now that’s very important because health is a substrate of the greater picture, not a side-effect of a temporary solution. In this article, we will cover what holistic medicine is and you can decide whether or not it works.
So if that sounds interesting to you, keep reading to learn more.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine by itself is considered to be a form of healing that sees the person as a whole, thus of the body, mind, spirit, and emotion. This is done not to treat a person’s health concerns, but to lead them towards optimal wellness and health in the long-term.
In essence, once one can achieve optimal wellness and health, but this is done through the medium of holistic medicine that brings necessary balance into life.
Holistic medicine specialists truly believe that the entire person is made of up various moving parts, and if one of them is out of tune, all the others will be affected. And that sort of makes senses if you think about it.
Thus, if people have a misbalance of spiritual, emotional, or physical characteristics, it will negatively affect their entire health system.
A holistic doctor might and will use a variety of forms of health care, from alternative therapies to traditional medication, all in the hopes of treating the patient. For instance, if a patient suffers from migraine headaches, and he visits a holistic doctor, instead of leaving with a prescription, the doctor will examine the potential causes for the headaches, such as diet, sleep, stress, spiritual issues, and much more.
The plan for treatment might involve drugs to relieve symptoms, but at the same the majority of the healing will come from within via external modifications of lifestyle, thus preventing headaches from recurring.
A Bit More On Holistic Medicine
So what is holistic medicine? It’s many things. It’s also based on the belief that support and unconditional love is a prerequisite for expedited healing, and that the person themselves is ultimately responsible for their own health and wellness.
Other principles such as that include:
- Everybody has ingrained healing powers within them
- The patient is not a disease, but a person
- Healing requires a collective solution and must address all aspects of life through the use of health care practices
- Treatment must involve fixing the condition, not just masking the symptoms.
Holistic specialists also use a multitude of treatment methods to help the patient take responsibility for their own optimized health. Depending on the skillset and experience of a practitioner, these techniques might include:
- Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, homeopathy, chiropractic care, and naturopathy
- Western surgical procedures
- Western medications
- Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care, such as diet, relationship/spiritual counseling, psychotherapy, exercise and much more
Anyhow, these are just very tip of the iceberg examples. Holistic Medicine goes far beyond any of this, and cannot be quantified as a certain single thing.
What Are the Types of Holistic Practices?
As mentioned there are practically hundreds of holistic healing practices, and new therapies and subsequent variations are emerging constantly. This can make it overwhelming for new patients, but it shouldn’t be that way.
To the fortune of all, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has grouped most of the practices into five separate categories. Understanding these categories can help you identify the important characteristics/identifying features of a particular therapy.
Alternative Medical Systems
These are complete systems that have been founded outside of the Western understanding of the biomedical approach. Some greater examples of alternative medicine are Traditional Chinese, Ayurveda, and other oriental systems.
In no regard are they superior or inferior to Western medicine, but they are certainly alternative, thus providing an opportunity to those who have dwindled under the medical approach of the west.
These interventions include spiritual, social, psychological, behavioral, which are done under the supervision of a specialized health practitioner. In simpler terms, a great example of these interventions would be cancer support groups, breathing relaxation classes, yoga therapy.
The word itself might seem very oppressive in its nature, but in reality, the patient is still the one who decides whether or not they will be healed.
This category covers therapy which employs the use of various biological materials, such as plant-based. For instance, aromatherapy and herbal flushing would directly contribute to this group.
And does not necessarily have to relate to biological material, but it has to be biology-premised therapy in any regard.
This category uses sensory manipulation, such as movement, touch, or inference to assess and heal the body. Simple things like massage therapy and chiropractic care are covered by this category.
However, less traditional movement techniques might be employed, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. Although, those are more pertinent to the next group.
This category involves the use of energy to heal, such as thermal, ultrasonic, electromagnetic, resonance, and much more. Reiki and healing touch are direct examples of this group.
However, as mentioned earlier, Qi Gong would be considered a self-actuated energy therapy.
Holistic Consultation Approach
Another important thing to mention is the holistic consultation approach, which is a critical aspect of holistic medicine.
Techniques from the consultant approach can be used to find the story behind the story. Questions such as:
- Why has the patient chosen to consult?
- What do they think is the problem?
- What do they fear might be the problem?
- What are they hoping to achieve through consultation?
Those who employ such questioning techniques in their practice, by the merits of the question will be taking on a holistic approach. Good communication and listening skills are paramount to the determination of a doctor for being holistic.
Holistic medicine directly encourages a patient to participate in the patient-doctor relationship, thus empowering them as a healer. House calls are seemingly becoming an important aspect of the holistic approach, as it considers their individual conditions and social circumstances.
It is believed that GPs just place emphasis on the consultation process as it is an important tool for transcending to a holistic view of the patient, and their potential problems. Even if a doctor does not label themselves as holistic, they might still fall under this category, as a merit of their character and interest in your health.
An Example of Holistic Medicine vs Traditional Medicine
We thought it would be a good idea to provide a direct comparison of holistic medicine vs traditional medicine on the premise of dentistry.
Dentists who decide to holistically heal check the entire body, not just your teeth. They might suggest and advise programs of preventative treatment, which go far beyond regular dental hygiene, as they might cover nourishment, smoking cessation, alcohol intake reduction, and anything else.
The views among the dental experts of holistic nature will carry. For instance, some will be against the use of fluoride, because they believe that it causes lasting health problems, such as cancer and degenerative bone disease. Whereas, another will advocate for its use to prevent tooth decay.
Various holistic dental professionals might protest against root canals, as they believe the use of chemicals in sterile representatives, along with the bacteria being caught in the canal can trigger lasting health-depreciating effects.
A holistic dentist will most certainly not use nickel, amalgam, or other steels to fill dental caries. They will make use of composite resin, which is often employed by typical dentists of the non-holistic kind. They might also advise patients to allow them to remove the existing amalgam fillings, and change them into health-conscious materials.
The use of x-ray tools is another type of holistic dentistry, as they have special devices that expose the patient to reduced radiation. Some dental experts also employ the use of such devices, but it is a rare occurrence.
Holistic Medicine for You
Now that you know what is a holistic medicine, you are well on your way to deciding if you would like to employ the use of it to change your life.
After all, the value of holistic medicine lies in the empowerment of the patient, thus making them the conduit for healing, and not just a vessel for treatment. Whatever you decide to do will be the right thing to do.
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