Holistic medicine is a term that is thrown around quite a bit these days but not many people understand what it really means. Because of major advances in both research and technology in recent years, holistic medicine has taken on added importance within the medical field. In its most basic form, holistic medicine focuses on treating the whole person instead of merely the symptoms of a disease.
A Unique Approach
Essentially, holistic medicine takes into account the entire body when making a diagnosis instead of concentrating on a particular area. Genetic factors, for instance may lead to the onset of diabetes later in life. A holistic approach, however, might seek to lower a person’s risk for developing the disease or to reduce its severity by outlining a set of healthy behaviors for the patient.
Holistic medicine is a different way of administering healthcare. Instead of only treating patients when they are ill, holistic medicine practitioners focus on achieving holistic health and well-being by embracing healthy lifestyle choices and habits.
How Is a Holistic Doctor Different from a Primary Care Doctor?
Typically, primary care doctors diagnose a patient’s illness and then treat his or her symptoms. Instead of treating a specific illness, however, a holistic doctor looks at the larger picture to determine what factors may be adversely affecting the patient’s health.
A holistic doctor works from the idea that illness often results from something upsetting the body’s natural balance. As a result, he or she doctor will formulate a treatment plan that both treats the sickness and improves one’s general health. For instance, a holistic doctor may counsel a patient with digestive problems to avoid toxins and unhealthy foods for better long-term health.
Treating Mind and Body Together
As one of the keys to improving overall health, holistic medicine tries to boost a person’s mental and spiritual well-being along with the physical aspect. The idea is to achieve a balance and harmony among these distinct elements.
Nevertheless, holistic practitioners do not eschew traditional medical practices. Instead, they want to incorporate the best of Western medicine along with holistic methods for the best possible outcome.
Patient Takes an Active Role
A holistic approach, however, encourages a patient to take a more active role in their healing. For instance, a health and wellness provider may tailor a specific diet and exercise regimen for the patient to follow to maintain their health after treating the original illness.
Consequently, health and wellness treatments usually involve much more than curing what is wrong with your body at the moment. Adopting a holistic approach is about changing your lifestyle and outlook to achieve lasting results that will keep chronic illnesses at bay and enable you to live your healthiest life.
Generally, holistic medicine, sometimes referred to as alternative medicine or complementary therapies, refers to methods that lie outside of surgical or pharmaceutical treatments. Some common practices include acupuncture, massage, meditation, and herbal remedies.
A few years ago, alternative therapies were not common in traditional hospital settings, but things have changed considerably. Nowadays, many hospitals and clinics have embraced these methods and have even popularized the term “integrative therapies.”
In the recent past, our medical system and the business of healthcare revolved around the concept of finding cures or treatments to prolong one’s life once he or she becomes sick rather than adopting preventative measures beforehand. Holistic medicine, on the other hand, has revolutionized the medical field by treating the root cause of a patient’s illness instead of being content to treat only its symptoms.