Healthy Living

What Is Holistic Medicine: Treatments and Principles

What Is Holistic Medicine: Treatments and Principles

Holistic is defined as incorporating the very concept of holism or the idea that the whole is something more than just the sum of its parts both in theory and practice. 

What is holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine helps treat, manage, and prevent disease by considering a person's whole being in body, spirit, mind, and emotions. It supports the concept that there is a link between a person's overall well-being and physical health. It means that in holistic medicine, people's physical state, when it comes to disease or illness, is considered as closely interrelated with their emotional, psychological, social, environmental, and spiritual state. 

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For this reason, these states are equally important in holistic medicine. A holistic approach usually involves a person's whole or general life situation. According to its philosophy, optimal health is achieved by living a well-balanced life. 

Holistic Medicine Practitioners

Holistic medicine practitioners use alternative approaches and complementary methods to health in their practice. They believe that when one part of a person's body is not properly functioning, all of the other parts of the body will also be affected.

For this reason, imbalances in people's lives often have a negative impact on their overall health. Holistic medicine practitioners always consider their patients as a whole when it comes to treating their health conditions or when promoting good health and wellness. 

Different forms of health care, including conventional treatments to alternative therapies may be used by holistic doctors to treat their patients. For instance, a patient with migraine headaches consults a holistic doctor for treatment. Instead of only prescribing medications for migraine headaches, the doctor would further investigate other potential factors that may be causing the patient's migraine. Such factors include:

  • Stress
  • Other medical conditions
  • Personal issues
  • Dietary intake
  • Sleeping habits
  • Spiritual practices

Although certain medications are prescribed to help relieve the patient's symptoms, the doctor will also recommend some lifestyle changes to prevent the recurrence of migraine headaches.  

What are the principles of holistic medicine?

  • Whole Person - Patients are seen as a whole and in unity with their mind, body, spirit, and other systems that they live in.
  • Optimal Health - This is the main goal of holistic medicine. In holistic medicine practice, there is a constant pursuit of wellness and balance in a person's physical, mental, emotional, environmental, social, and spiritual state to achieve optimal health. 
  • The Healing Power of Love - Patients are treated by holistic practitioners with unconditional acceptance, kindness, grace, and spirit. Holistic medicine is based on the belief that the most powerful healer is love. 
  • Innate Healing Powers of the Body - The body has natural healing powers that significantly affect people's healing process.
  • Treatment and Prevention - Holistic medicine promotes better health, prevention of diseases, and helps raise awareness about people's illnesses instead of only addressing the symptoms. Other contributing factors to a person's illness are addressed to optimize a patient's overall well-being. 
  • Integrated Healing - When it comes to diagnosis and treatment, holistic practitioners offer effective and safe options that can come from different traditions. These options may include complementary approaches, lifestyle changes, the use of conventional medications, or surgery. 
  • Individuality - Holistic medicine's main focus is the patient with an illness instead of the illness on that patient. Holistic practitioners concentrate on a patient's nature and individual needs. 
  • Relationship-Centered Care - There is a doctor-patient relationship that promotes autonomy as well as consideration regarding the insights and needs of both the practitioner and patient. Establishing this ideal relationship certainly contributes to a patient's recovery.

Types of Holistic Treatments

Holistic medicine practitioners employ different treatments and techniques to help patients achieve optimal health and maintain it. Holistic treatments may include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Patient education and self-care
  • Dietary changes
  • Exercise
  • Psychotherapy
  • Spiritual and relationship counseling
  • Alternative and complementary therapies (homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic care, among others)
  • Western medications
  • Surgery 

Finding the Right Holistic Doctor for You

A holistic doctor can be any of the following practitioners:

  • Medical doctors
  • Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs)
  • Naturopathic doctors
  • Homeopathic doctors
  • Chiropractors

You can also visit the American Holistic Medical Association website to find a holistic doctor within your area. 

The following are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a holistic medicine practitioner:

  • Don't just go to any healthcare provider - Like all other types of professionals, there are practitioners who do well in their jobs and others who are not as good as them. Before choosing and setting a doctor's appointment, ask for recommendations from people you trust. You can also get in touch with a reliable health institution and ask for recommendations. The best option would be to check some amazing discounts on Dealvoucherz for reputed online consultants.
  • Always do your homework beforehand - While selecting a holistic practitioner, try to find out as much information as possible, including the practitioner's training, experience, specialty, and his or her association with professional organizations. Also, check if the practitioner is certified in holistic medicine from a credible medical institute or board. You should also consider the practitioner's philosophy when treating patients. Ask yourself if it is the same with your personal views.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with your chosen provider - Ask yourself if the holistic provider makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Is the provider mindful and sensitive to your beliefs and other concerns? Always remember that holistic medicine involves your holistic provider and yourself, which is why it is very important to feel at ease with your provider to establish a good doctor-patient relationship.  
  • Be prepared to truthfully answer questions - Your holistic provider may ask you a number of questions about your daily habits, emotional status, stress level, personal relationships, religious belief, dietary intake, sleeping pattern, exercise activities, and mental health, among others. Honestly answering your doctor's questions can help him understand you as a person rather than only diagnosing your disease. 

The approach of holistic treatment usually involves finding out the root cause of your condition and not just getting rid of your symptoms. Holistic medicine practitioners also encourage people to take more control of their overall health and wellness since it is one of the philosophies of holistic health. 

Key Takeaways

  • Holistic medicine supports the concept that there is a link between a person's overall well-being and physical health. 
  • It means that in holistic medicine, people's physical state, when it comes to disease or illness, is considered as closely interrelated with their emotional, psychological, social, environmental, and spiritual state. 
  • According to its philosophy, optimal health is achieved by living a well-balanced life.