Holistic Medicine: Everything You Need to Know about This Groundbreaking Form of Healing
Have you been considering a holistic doctor for yourself and your family? Holistic medicine is known as a form of healing wherein the whole person – from the body to spirit to mind and everything in between – is treated for optimal health and wellbeing. The holistic medicine philosophy guides all areas of holistic medicine. Essentially, this philosophy states that gaining proper balance in life is the primary goal of holistic medicine practice. This means that if any one part of a person is not functioning optimally, all the other parts will be affected in some way. Holistic medicine aims to ensure imbalances, whether they’re spiritual, emotional or physical, are corrected to achieve a higher quality of health and wellbeing.
A Look at the Principles of Holistic Medicine…
Any form of holistic medicine or holistic therapy is based on the belief that a person is ultimately responsible for their own health and wellbeing. However, there are a few basic principles that guide the way:
- Optimal health is the primary goal wherein the highest level of functioning and balance of the social, emotional, environmental, mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of human experience must be met.
- Love is the ultimate, most powerful healer and all healthcare practitioners should aim to treat their patients with kindness, grace, acceptance, and spirit throughout any form of treatment or therapy.
- Prevention and treatment are crucial to prevent illness, raise awareness of diseases, and of course, promote a higher level of health. In this endeavor, symptoms shouldn’t be merely managed but relieved with contributing factors modified.
- All individuals have innate healing power within their minds, bodies, and spirits. The approach behind holistic medicine involves practitioners evoking this innate healing power to help patients utilize this throughout the process.
- Any safe and effective option available can be used in holistic healthcare – from conventional drugs and surgery to lifestyle modification and other complementary choices.
- Patient care needs to focus on the unique nature and needs of the person with the illness. Rather than viewing and treating the illness, the patient is the primary focus, and as such, are viewed and treated accordingly.
A holistic doctor will treat each and every patient with relationship-centered care wherein they’ll value the needs and insights of that person – encouraging patient autonomy while paying attention to the unity of the body, spirit, mind, and systems in which they live. This is essential to the healing process.
What Types of Treatments Are Used in Holistic Medicine?
Although many people think of naturopathy when they hear the word “holistic medicine,” this isn’t the only form of treatment available in holistic medicine. In fact, a holistic doctor will typically use a variety of techniques and/or options to help their patient back on the path towards optimal health and wellbeing. There are various types of treatments commonly used in holistic medicine, including but not limited to:
- Traditional western medications and surgical procedures
- Alternative therapies, including homeopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more
- Lifestyle changes designed to promote wellness – from diet to counseling to psychotherapy and more.
How to Choose a Holistic Doctor
Choosing a holistic doctor is very similar to choosing any kind of medical practitioner. You want someone who will make you feel comfortable at each visit – someone you can trust to keep your best interests in mind. Here are a few tips to help you choose a holistic doctor that will work well with you:
- Do some research: Find out about a holistic doctor’s experience, training, and associations with professional organizations and/or hospital affiliations. Pay special attention to their treatment philosophies and make sure they’re aligned with yours.
- Follow your gut instincts: You’ll want a holistic doctor you’re able to feel comfortable talking to about your health and wellbeing. Make sure they make you feel at ease and would be willing to involve you in terms of your concerns and beliefs.
- Pay attention to the questions they ask: When you’re choosing a holistic doctor, you want to make sure they’re going to treat you as a whole person, instead of any underlying illnesses. They should ask questions about your sleep habits, diet, etc.
What About Holistic Therapy? How Does It Work?
Holistic therapy abides by the same principles as holistic medicine. However, it’s an approach to therapy wherein the same principles are followed to treat complex conditions, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, and addictions. Many individuals who haven’t had success with traditional therapy find holistic therapy to be incredibly healing. Why? Because practitioners focus on digging deeper into the source(s) of the issue, rather than simply treating the obvious symptoms.
This approach is particularly helpful when it comes to therapy. While medication may be used as part of the patient’s treatment plan, holistic therapy often combines other treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help address unresolved issues that may be linked to the patient’s depression, anxiety or addiction.