If you were to ask ten different people for their definition of holistic medicine, you will get ten different answers in return. In our Western culture, we can’t seem to figure out what to think of holistic medicine!
And this is unfortunate because our misunderstanding and fear of holistic medicine cheat us out of enriching our lives with the benefits it has to offer.
The definition of holistic according to Merriam Webster is, “[anything] relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts. Holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body.”
And that’s the simple answer. Holistic medicine views the mind and body as connected entities. It aims to treat them together using holistic methods.
How does holistic medicine help the body and mind?
First of all, it is important to mention that holistic medicine is not a replacement for traditional medicine. It is best to think of it as an expansion of traditional medicine.
Holistic treatments use conventional medicine while keeping an open approach with alternative methods. Such methods include homeopathy, acupressure, prayer, and meditation. Combining these alternative methods with traditional treatments are the makeup of holistic medicine.
Furthermore, a holistic physician views patients from a whole perspective, not as walking diseases. A holistic physician considers good listening and communication as invaluable skills. To treat both the body and the mind, your holistic physician will take the time to hear you out and treat your thoughts.
What are some common holistic medical practices?
Well, as we mentioned, holistic medicine uses a lot of techniques and procedures we’re already familiar with as Westerners. The other practices holistic medicine uses are the ones we are more wary of. Some of these practices include the following:
- Acupressure. This is the process of restoring the balance of your qi by massaging key pressure points in your body’s qi map.
- Diet. A Holistic nutrition plan strives to achieve the best state of well being by using whole foods as close to their natural state being.
- Exercise. The holistic exercise aims to make the body fit, but it achieves this by promoting relaxation and mental balance.
- Spiritual counseling. Holistic spirituality accepts the body, mind, and spirit as unified. One is not better or worse than the other. Holistic spiritual counseling aims to promote the oneness of these areas.
- Chiropractic. This is the treatment of joints, especially the spine, with physical manipulation.
- Homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines are natural substances the help promote your health. In holistic medicine, you use homeopathic medicine alongside traditional medicine.
Each of these practices has their its time and place. Holistic treatments usually make use of all of the above. But, sometimes these treatments can be used in isolation. For example, if you hurt your neck in a car accident, you may visit a chiropractor but maybe not a spiritual counselor.
Does holistic medicine work?
The most important question about holistic medicine is, does it work? If it doesn’t, then what would be the point of using its methods?
As defined earlier, holistic medicine aims to relieve your physical symptoms as well as your mind. Thanks to the wholesome approach of holistic medicine, more patients feel satisfied and restored.
Don’t confuse holistic medicine with alternative medicine. Sure, holistic medicine uses some alternative methods, but it doesn’t treat the disease with medicine that isn’t medically proven. If a medicine is labeled as an alternative because it is not clinically proven, it is not the same as holistic medicine.
If your holistic uses alternative medicine, it does so as a supplement to, not a replacement of, clinically proven medicine.
If you are still not sure about holistic medicine, you should check it out yourself! Many professional physicians are holistic practitioners. Schedule a consultation with a holistic physician to find out what they recommend for you.
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