Holistic medicine is a form of healthcare slowly gaining attention in recent years. It offers great potential for even the most severe of medical cases, but due to its connotation as unfounded and possibly superstitious, it gets easily dismissed as quackery. So what is holistic medicine, really? Here are the top 10 holistic medicine facts you need to know.
- Holistic medicine is comprehensive treatment.
The basic idea of holistic medicine is that it aims to treat individuals as a whole. By this, we mean caring for all of the aspects of a person’s being – physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual, so as to gain balance and keep health to a maximum. We are, after all, multi-faceted beings, and to take care of all the parts inevitably takes care of the whole.
- Holistic medicine is an ancient practice.
The roots of holistic medicine trace back to ancient Indian and Chinese civilizations dating thousands of years ago. Even without the technology medicine has access to today, healers then already acknowledged the effect of the environment, nutrition, and people’s emotions to their general wellbeing. Thus their treatment perspectives take these factors into account, the same way holistic medicine, as it is now called, does.
- Holistic medicine involves many disciplines.
Holistic medicine practice brings together different treatment modalities from an assortment of disciplines, and thus may have several aspects. This takes the form of patient education, conventional remedies (e.g. synthetic drugs, surgical intervention), and alternative medicine (e.g. chiropractic, physical, naturopathic therapies, acupuncture).
- Holistic medicine is not equivalent to alternative medicine.
Holistic medicine is not confined to alternative medicine. While employing alternative treatments, good doctors also acknowledge the benefits and necessity of some conventional treatments like surgery and pain-relievers. It is thus better to put it as that holistic medicine is the complementary combination of conventional and alternative medicine.
- Holistic medicine is based on sound medical and scientific principles.
Conventional prescription, as well as lifestyle recommendations, nutritional supplementation, and herbal remedies included in the umbrella of holistic medicine are never magically coughed up. They are based on principles from disciplines such as immunology, botany, neurology, and biochemistry, along the likes of pathways involved in repair, cellular response to oxidative stress, glucose uptake, and many more.
- Holistic medicine is practiced by specially trained medical professionals.
Holistic medical practitioners study prior to administering care. They are not merely individuals who have read through general wellness from the internet. They are either clinically trained in conventional medical schools, or receive equivalent graduate-level education on alternative medical methods such as naturopathy.
- Holistic medicine is more of a lifestyle approach than a treatment method.
Holistic medicine is not a one-time patch, or a specific treatment modality. It is instead a lifestyle approach which, apart from getting cures for your illness, also involves day to day choices to keep yourself from things that could jeopardize your body.
- Holistic medicine promotes patient responsibility
Unlike purely conventional treatment approaches, holistic medicine aims to involve patients in their own healing in partnership with their doctors. This is done by making patients aware of the effects of dietary, lifestyle, emotional, and relational factors to their physical wellness. In this way, they are able to make better choices, care for their bodies and remain healthy. Needless to say, some aspects of treatment still have to be done by the doctors themselves, but at least patients can take a more active role in their healing.
- Holistic medicine has shown great promise in chronic cases
With the advantage of having alternative medicine and self-care options in addition to conventional care, patients suffering from chronic conditions are more likely to be able to manage well. The reason for this is that holistic medicine intervenes not only with the symptoms, but it also encourages your body to heal itself by providing more of its necessary resources. This allows for more sustainable treatments that do not have adverse side effects, such as healthier diets and herbal supplements for cancer patients on top of surgery.
- Holistic medicine will not put you in danger
As we’ve talked about earlier, holistic medicine has scientific and medical basis. Thus, treatments properly prescribed, should not put you in danger or make you sicker. It is also not supposed to create more problems than there originally is. Experiencing otherwise may indicate malpractice, so should make you reconsider your treatment plan or your doctor.
Holistic medicine is a lot of things, and a lot more which it is not, but in nonetheless opens a lot of good possibilities to getting better. All it takes is to give it a try.