Just as the name implies, holistic medicine pretty much covers all the bases when it comes to a treatment system. There is traditional medicine with its various tweaks around the world, and there are a number of alternative modes of medical practice, and then there is holistic medicine. A holistic practitioner typically will use all types of health care, from conventional to alternative in treating a patient. And it doesn't stop there. Holistic medicine, per webmd.com, is a form of healing that considers the whole person – in consideration of the body, mind, spirit, and emotions – with the foundational goal of achieving proper balance in life. In essence, that is the way to wellness (a word that increasingly is popping up in American medical lexicon).
A Whole-Person ApproachHolistic doctors take an all-encompassing approach that the whole person consists of parts that are interdependent on one another; if one part isn't functioning properly – that is, if it's unhealthy – then all of the other parts will be adversely affected. As for holistic treatments aimed at a specific condition, say, migraine headaches, the doctor will do more than just take a look, ask a few questions of the patient to shape a diagnosis, and then scribble out a prescription – although he or she will likely do that, too. In addition to that rubber-stamp conventional approach, the practitioner will also take a deeper dive on all factors that could be behind the migraines, such as other health problems, diet, sleep habits, or work or relationship issues. The patient's spiritual/religious practices also enter the equation. One other thing – holistic medicine is predicated on the belief that unconditional love and support is crucial to healing.
Holistic Medicine BeliefsThere are a number of other principles that are at the core of holistic medicine. Per webmd.com, they include the following:
- Everyone has healing powers that are within them (innate).
- The patient is to be treated as a person, not as a disease or statistic.
- A team approach is central to healing, involving patient and doctor, and takes into account all parts of a person's life implementing multiple health care practices.
- Holistic treatment isn't just about alleviating symptoms; it also involves finding out what the root cause(s) of the condition are, and fixing those issues.