“Holistic medicine” is a phrase you have probably heard more and more often in recent years. Although many doctors have been practicing holistic medicine for years, the concept has slowly been growing in prominence in mainstream society. So, what exactly is holistic medicine? And how is it different from the traditional type of medicine most people are familiar with? Let’s take a closer look!
What is holistic medicine?
Holistic medicine is an approach to medical problems and healthcare that focuses on the whole person. Proponents of this medicinal practice believe that optimal health and wellness is determined by all facets of our being—body, mind, spirit, and emotion—and the ways in which these elements work together to create balance.
What are the principles of holistic medicine?
When holistic doctors treat their patients, they take into account not just the physical symptoms you’re experiencing, but your overall health and life as a whole. The focus is both on the treatment of physical ailments and identifying and implementing practices in your everyday life that will prevent illness. Holistic practitioners believe that the body operates as a whole. In other words, if there is something wrong, it is a result of your entire balance being thrown, not a problem with one single part of the body.
In holistic theory, the body possess innate healing abilities. The doctor’s job is to identify and treat the internal or external force impeding those abilities and, most importantly, prevent anything from hindering them in the first place.
How do holistic doctors treat medical issues differently than traditional doctors?
The primary difference that distinguishes holistic from traditional medical doctors is that the goal of the holistic approach is to treat the underlying condition, not just to alleviate symptoms. Some of the treatments holistic doctors use overlap with those of traditional Western medicine, such as prescription medications and surgeries. But they also complement traditional treatments with alternative therapies and remedies, both ones that are clinically-proven and ones that are simply evidenced-based. Holistic treatments often involve educating the patient about lifestyle changes that should be implemented to promote healing, such as increased exercise, dietary changes, and mental health counseling.
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