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Holistic Medicine

What Is Holistic Medicine?

holistic medicine

Holistic Medicine is a form of healing that considers the body, mind, spirit and emotions of the whole person in order to reach optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health by achieving a proper balance in life.

This is the primary goal of holistic medicine practice.

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 physical, emotional or spiritual imbalances 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. When a person suffering from migraine headaches, for example, pays a visit to a holistic doctor, instead of he/she walking out solely with medication, the doctor will consider and evaluate 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.

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If you think it may be something more on a Mental Health angle, please read our comprehensive explanation.

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

Types Of Treatments:

Holistic practitioners use a variety of treatment techniques to help their patients take responsibility for their own well-being to ultimately achieve optimal health. It varies from doctor to doctor and will depend on the practitioner’s training, but may include:

  • Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counselling, and more
  • Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractor care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy and others
  • Western medications and surgical procedures

Where to Find a Holistic Provider:

Holistic providers may include medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy; naturopathy; homeopathy; and chiropractors. To find a holistic practitioner in your area, visit the Holistic Medical Association website in your local area.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a holistic provider:

Don’t Go To Just Anyone

As is the case with all professionals, there are those who are good at their jobs and those who are not as good. Prior to choosing a holistic medicine doctor, get a recommendation from someone you trust, or ask for one from a credible health organisation.

Do Your Homework:

When selecting a holistic doctor, find out as much as you can about that person’s training, experience, specialty, and association with professional organisations and hospital affiliations. Are they board certified in holistic medicine by a credible medical board?

Also, consider the doctor’s treatment philosophy. Is it similar to your own views?

How Do You Feel? 

Consider how comfortable you are with the provider. Do they 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. Make sure you feel comfortable and respected, and that they are someone with whom you would like to work.

Appointment Time: 

When it comes to choosing a provider, make sure you find one who will spend enough time with you as to properly ascertain a complete understanding of your needs.

Are The Right Questions Being Asked:

In order to truly understand you and not just a disease, you will need to be prepared to answer lots of questions. These will include ones about your diet, exercise, sleep habits, how you feel emotionally, your religious beliefs and practices, close relationships, and more. 

Treatment Options: 

When determining a treatment approach, does the wellness plan go beyond pills? Make sure the practitioner examines all lifestyle factors, in unison with medical factors that could be contributing to your illness.

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