Holistic medicine is a kind of healing that considers body, mind, spirit, and emotions in pursuit of optimal health. According to its theory, a person can obtain best possible health by having appropriate balance in life. This is the primary aim of Holistic Medicine.
Understanding Holistic Medicine
People practicing Holistic medicine are of the belief that a system of parts that are dependent on each other constitutes a person and even of one part if not functioning appropriately it affects the functioning the other parts as well. Therefore, if a person has any physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalance, it adversely affects the health of that person.
A holistic physician uses all forms of healthcare right from standard medicine to alternative form of therapies for treatment. If we take an example of a person suffering from migraines, if he goes to a holistic physician, he/she will consider all the potential factors that may be causing pain such as other health problems, stress etc. The treatment may not only involve medications for relief of symptoms but also other lifestyle modifications for migraine prevention.
Principles of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is based on the principle a person holds the whole and sole responsibility of his/her own health. Other principles of holistic medicine are:
- Everyone has natural healing powers.
- The patient is an individual and not a disease.
- Healing involves a patient-doctor relationship as a team with an aim to address all features of an individual's life using different forms of healthcare techniques.
- Treatment involves treating the root cause and not just putting a lid on the symptoms.
Types of Treatments in Holistic Medicine
Holistic physicians use different treatment techniques so that their patients start taking responsibility for their own health. Some of them are as follows:
- Educating people on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote well being. This may include exercise, diet, and psychotherapy among other things.
- Alternative therapies such as chiropractic methods, acupuncture, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy etc.
How is Holistic Medicine Different from Alternative Medicine?
Holistic medicine involves the connection between the mind, body and spirit for healing. Lifestyle, social, cultural and environmental background as well as the patient-physician relationship is considered to be vital for healing of illness. For relief of symptoms imbalances in any of these areas need to be rectified.
Alternative medicine includes healing techniques like herbal medicine, biofeedback, acupuncture and other forms of treatment.
Benefits of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine identifies an individual having an illness more important than the illness itself. Holistic medicine uses treatment which has the least potential to harm an individual. It is more cost-friendly than the conventional drugs or surgery. Holistic medicine tries to achieve societal change through respect for individuals. It believes in the fact that healing should take place at all levels i.e., individual, social, cultural.