Holistic health – Cheers to you being in charge
Holistic medicine is an ancient system of health care that dates back thousands of years ago, however the expression is of much more recent vintage. The word “holism” was coined by Jan Christiaan Smuts in 1926 to describe the concept that living beings are “greater than and different from the sum of their parts.” The word “holistic” wasn’t widely used until the 1970s.
Now that you know a little bit more about the history of the term, you may be wondering: “What is the definition of holistic medicine? To understand more, it helps to explore three essential elements of the philosophy behind it.
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 practitioners 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 (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health. A holistic practitioner 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.#Holistic Medicine takes the whole person into consideration #SV Click To Tweet
Have you ever visited a doctor of traditional medicine and got the feeling like the whole picture of your health wasn’t being evaluated to make a diagnosis? Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms, as opposed to always trying to determine the underlying causes of a condition, which is a focus of holistic medicine.
The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) describes it this way:
“Rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.”
Mind, body and spirit — these aspects of each patient are considered to be intertwined and essential to achieving optimal health. Human beings are comprised of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements is another way to look at it.#Holistic medicine focuses on #natural #healing #SV Click To Tweet
While holistic medicine may incorporate treatments from mainstream health care, drugs and surgery are not the line of first defense.
These are some of the focuses of primary care treatment in holistic medicine:
- Spiritual wellbeing
- Emotional wellbeing
- Mental wellbeing
- Exercise / Physical wellbeing
- Environmental measures
- Attitude and behavior modifications
- Relationship and spiritual counseling
- Bio-energy enhancement
By definition, holistic medicine is about lifestyle changes, noninvasive remedies and improving the flow of a person’s life-force energy, along with enhancing the body’s own ability to heal itself.#Holistic medicine is patient-empowering #SV #PowerToThePeople Click To Tweet
Holistic health is a lifestyle. It doesn’t stop and start when you walk in and out of a practitioner’s office. What the patient does on a daily basis to tend to their mind, body and spirits is as important as any treatment or herbal remedies they receive.
According to the AHHA:
“Holistic medicine teaches patients to take responsibility for their own health, and in so doing is: cost-effective in treating both acute and chronic illness; therapeutic in preventing and treating chronic disease; essential in creating optimal health.”
Many people opt for holistic medicine because it’s a way for them to feel empowered in their own health care. They don’t have to wait for drugs to work or surgery to fix them, they can take measures to enhance their wellbeing on their own.
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 their 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.
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.
How do you feel? Consider how comfortable you are with the provider. Does he or she make you feel at ease? Is the provider respectful of your concerns and beliefs? Remember, holistic medicine takes a team approach, involving you and the provider, so make sure you feel comfortable and respected and that he or she is someone with whom you would like to work.