Holistic medicine takes into consideration the whole person (physically, spiritually, socially, and psychologically) when managing illnesses and preventing disease. A holistic doctor understands that the overall health of a patient’s well-being involves not only what is going on inside the body in terms of disease or illness, but also the interconnectedness of their emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, and psychological state. These states are equally important and should be managed as a whole. Simply put, a holistic doctor looks at a patient’s entire life, not just one part of it when making a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.
What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic doctors rely on the latest conventional medicine practices along with scientifically proven functional medicine, alternative medicine, and naturopathic medicine to improve the overall health and well-being of their patients. In addition to providing guidance on eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days, holistic doctors also help provide guidance on other aspects of a patient’s life like their relationships, spiritual health, and mental well-being. Each of these areas of an individual’s life can negatively impact their health as much as unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Holistic doctors understand the complexity of the mind-body connection and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates all areas of a patient’s life.
Benefits Of Holistic Medicine
Here are some of the common benefits when their practitioner uses a holistic medicine approach for treatment plans-
- Illness Prevention and Treatment – Holistic medicine’s main goal is to improve the health of each patient, increase patients’ awareness of potential health conditions, and prevent the development of disease or illness. These goals are accomplished by empowering and encouraging patients to modify unhealthy lifestyle choices that may be causing or contributing to the their health conditions.
- Whole Person Healing – One of the main characteristics of holistic medicine is the understanding of how the mind, body, spirit, and emotions work together and affect an individual’s health. Studies have shown that stress can cause a number of illnesses. A holistic doctor will incorporate all aspects of a person’s life into a patient’s treatment plan rather than just concentrating on managing symptoms.
- Integration of Healing Systems – Lifestyle modifications, complementary medical approaches such as functional medicine, and conventional medical treatments are all used in holistic medicine. Holistic practitioners and patients work together to find treatments that meet the needs of each patient including prescription medications, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes.
- Enabling the Body’s Innate Ability to Heal Itself – Holistic medicine practitioners understand that the body has a natural ability to heal itself. A holistic doctor works with each patient to help them reach their optimal health. When the body, mind, and spirit are in sync and healthy, the body’s ability to heal itself improves. Holistic medicine uses numerous treatment methodologies to enhance a patient’s natural immunity, reduce inflammation in the body, and regulate the process in the body.
- Personalized Treatment – Each person’s mind, body, spirit and emotions are unique. A holistic doctor uses the patient’s distinctive nature to improve their health by creating a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates all of these areas in a patient’s life. Each treatment plan is customized and unique.
- Patient and Practitioner Relationship – One of the most important aspects of holistic medicine is the symbiotic relationship that is built between the holistic practitioner and the patient. The patient is more than just a list of past medical history and symptoms. A holistic doctor considers how the patient thinks, acts, and feels based on their unique physical, spiritual, social, and psychological makeup. This enables the doctor to develop a complete and effective diagnosis and treatment plan that considers all areas of the patient’s life including medical and family history as well as social lifestyle for optimum results.
- Patient Empowerment – Holistic medicine empowers patients to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. Everyone knows the importance of a healthy diet, daily exercise, a good night’s sleep, and decreased stress levels; however, most patients have trouble incorporating healthy changes into their day to day lives. Rather than giving the patient a list of things that they “should” do, a holistic doctor along with a health coach will talk with the patient about the lifestyle changes that they can begin making today. The doctor and patient discuss the changes the patient is ready to make, the changes the patient is not ready to make, and the changes that will impact and improve the patient’s health. Then, the patient and their doctor will work together to develop a plan to help improve the patient’s health through effective and proven protocols.
- Personalized Attention – Holistic practitioners typically give patients more time and attention than conventional medicine. Conventional doctors often have limited time and energy to focus on each patient. The philosophy of holistic medicine encourages holistic doctors to prioritize and focus on each patient’s health and well-being by giving them the time and attention they deserve.
- Power of Compassion and Caring Heals – With holistic medicine, practitioners endeavor to meet the patient’s expectations with kindness, grace, and compassion. Practitioners understand that compassion and caring is a powerful healer when dealing with any type of illness and include it in every treatment plan. When a patient feels cared for, they are willing to follow the advice of the practitioner and thus improve their health.
- Teach by Example – Holistic practitioners understand the importance of teaching by example. Not only do practitioners recommend healthy lifestyle changes, medications, and natural remedies for their patients, but they also practice similar methods such as healthy lifestyle with regular detoxifications themselves. This helps patients trust their practitioners and heal faster. Additionally, if the patient has questions or concerns, the holistic doctor can better understand what the patient may be feeling and offer effective guidance.
- Balancing the Patient’s Life – The goal of holistic medicine is for each patient to obtain a balanced life and optimal health. Guided imagery, meditation, and hypnotherapy are used to clear the mind, while yoga and tai chi are used to strengthen the body. Functional medicine helps with the treatment of chronic illness and the prevention of future illnesses. Finally, guidance is given to help rid the patient’s environment of clutter and other things that create environmental chaos.
- Life’s Learning Opportunities – Holistic medicine understands that a person’s life is filled with opportunities to learn and grow. These opportunities include joy, sickness, birth, and even death. By teaching the patient how to look at each trial as a learning opportunity, the practitioner is able to help the patient focus on learning opportunities rather than just the emotional aspect of things that happen in their life. This methodology helps reduce stress, improve the patient’s outlook on life and promote emotional, physical, and psychological healing.
- Mind Body Connection – An individual’s thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and attitude impact their emotional health and their physical health. Conversely, an individual’s physical health can impact how they feel about themselves, others, and the world. This complex interrelationship is known as the mind body connection. Holistic medicine seeks to address both the mind and body to bring about optimal health and well-being.
- Power of Positive Thinking – Holistic medicine understands that when it comes to health, attitude plays a vital role. Research has shown that having a positive attitude and emotions can help a patient bounce back from an illness. Learning how to find balance, lower stress levels, and improve your outlook on life is key to longevity, improved health, and lower risk of disease.
Holistic Treatment Modalities
Holistic care uses a variety of treatment modalities to ensure each patient receives the most optimum medical care they need. This includes conventional medicine, complementary and alternative medicine treatments, herbal remedies, dietary supplementation, mind and body therapy, stress relief techniques, chiropractic care, massage, therapy, homeopathy and acupuncture.
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments (CAM) – Approximately 40 percent of Americans seek Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments in conjunction with or in place of conventional medical approaches. By combining alternative medical treatments with mainstream conventional medicine, patients are likely to stay healthy. Furthermore, when these methodologies are used, patients are more likely to seek out treatment for a variety of healthcare issues. Alternative medicine exclusively uses non-mainstream treatment approaches. Holistic medicine combines the best of conventional medicine, with science-based alternative treatment modalities for the benefit of patients.
- Herbal Remedies and Dietary Supplements – Dietary supplements like omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals are used to support the body’s natural defense mechanisms. The supplements are often used to provide the body with the necessary nutrients to heal itself and stay in peak health. Herbal formulas, such as echinacea, increase the body’s natural immunity. When immunity is naturally increased the body is better able to fight infection or prevent illness. There are herbal formulas that help alleviate pain, balance the hormones, and improve biological functions throughout the body. Holistic medicine uses prescription and over the counter medicine as well as dietary supplements and herbal remedies to promote health.
- Mind and Body Therapy – There are numerous mind and body techniques used in holistic medicine such as massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, visualization, and yoga. These practices are administered by trained practitioners and are used to heal the body, mind, and spirit. When these techniques are used along with other healing methodologies, the patient will experience improved health and wellness.
- Stress Relief Techniques – Stress impacts all areas of the body and has been linked to a number of health conditions, including an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer. Stress relief techniques, including deep breathing exercises, meditation, and journaling help calm the mind, relax the body, and improve the patient’s health.
- Massage Therapy and Chiropractic Care – Massage therapy and chiropractic services are typically used to bring the body into alignment and alleviate pain. Chiropractic care gently manipulates the spine into alignment so the body can function at peak performance. Massage therapy relaxes the muscles and helps rid the body of toxins.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture was developed thousands of years ago to help bring the body into alignment, promote health, and provide relaxation. Acupuncture therapy uses fine needles placed at specific locations on the body. Acupuncture releases endorphins to relax and heal the body naturally.
How Can A Holistic Doctor Help?
Holistic medicine focuses on the whole person rather than just treating the symptoms. Holistic practitioners work with their patients to develop plans to help heal the body, mind, and soul and promote wellness. These whole-body treatment approaches help improve the patient’s overall health, alleviate stress, and diminish pain. Whether an individual is dealing with the common cold or facing a serious medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or menopause, holistic medicine can help in overcoming illness or preventing disease. Call us today to experience the difference. We offer a caring and dedicated healthcare team that is skilled in the use of holistic medicine approaches for optimum healing.