Are you having trouble finding the right solution to your medical problem? If your doctor is a traditional medical doctor, they may only have been looking at one side of your issue.
It may be time to consider a more holistic approach to your health. Holistic medicine takes a look at the bigger picture, your body as a whole. It's concerned with finding balance so that your entire wellbeing improves.
Keep reading to learn more about what holistic medicine is and how it can help you, along with specific therapies to try.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
When you go to a traditional doctor, they ask you about your symptoms and try to treat it with some type of medicine. A holistic practitioner approaches your ailment a little differently. Holistic medicine focuses on the whole body and considers that other problems in the body can cause certain symptoms.
As a result, they treat your condition by helping make your whole body healthy. When your diet and general health are good, sometimes the symptoms you were experiencing go away. If they don't, they'll recommend treatment protocols that are a more natural approach than traditional medicines.
If you're still asking, “What is a holistic doctor?” then you need to know many holistic doctors still go to medical school. While a holistic practitioner doesn't always need a medical degree, many choose to pursue a DO rather than an MD.
A DO is a license earned after going through medical school, yet it involves more musculoskeletal training. A DO, or Doctor of Osteopathy, focuses on treating the body as a whole, a more holistic approach to traditional medicine.
MDs also go through medical school, but their focus is on disease treatment. They're licensed to practice medicine and go through boards and residency, just as a DO does.
Other holistic practitioners still go through many hours of intense training to learn the skills to treat your body. These include chiropractors, naturopaths, Ayurveda practitioners, and other skilled professionals that do not need a doctor's license. Alternative practices like these can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine or on their own.
Holistic Medicine Doesn't Always Work
Traditional medicine doesn't always work, and holistic medicine doesn't always work either. Comparing the two is hard because their focuses are different.
When you view the body as a whole, an integrated system of systems, then you can focus on holistic treatments. Many holistic practitioners will recommend a combination of therapies, like massage, aromatherapy, physical exercises, adjustments, and dietary changes. These, in combination with a traditional doctor's advice, can help your body heal and feel good again.
Make sure that you talk to both your medical doctor and your holistic practitioner about your symptoms and treatments. It can be dangerous to treat an ailment if you don't let all your health professionals know about the other regimens prescribed to you.
When focusing on the body as a whole, holistic healing methods employ philosophies like these:
- Your body is an integrated system of parts, working together to make a whole
- One part of your body can't exist without the other parts
- Overall wellbeing only happens when all the parts of the body are in harmony
These principles help you as the patient understand where the holistic professional is coming from. While at first it may not make sense to treat nausea with EMDR or other mental health therapies, often physical symptoms are part of a greater underlying issue like anxiety.
Specific Healing Methods
This all sounds great, but how does a practitioner actually go about healing your whole self? Here are some specific methods, ranging from practical to spiritual. To find the right process to heal your body, you may need to approach healing from multiple angles.
You already know about massage as a method for relaxation. Yet it can also be an intensive healing therapy to help heal wounds, muscle issues, and even mental health struggles.
There are many techniques, like bamboo and hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, Shiatsu massage, and Swedish massage. Each technique stems from separate philosophies, all centering on the body and how it works together.
This alternative therapy has been known to help people suffering from fibromyalgia, some forms of cancer, HIV and AIDS, and other ailments. Massage therapists study the meridians of the body, communication lines between muscles and the brain. Using these meridians, they can help manipulate the mind-body relationship to control pain and other symptoms like anxiety.
Psychotherapy and Counseling
Many mental health issues manifest as physical symptoms in your body. Just as massage teaches us that the mind and body are linked, so do therapies like EMDR and LENS.
These treatments, along with counseling, spiritual guidance, and psychotherapy, can help you find physical and mental healing.
Other Alternative Options
Check out this article about the different types of alternative treatment options if you're still wondering why choose alternative medicine. Read about ayurveda, chiropractic care, naturopathy, acupuncture, and more.
If you're deficient in certain nutrients, it can cause serious health issues. Long-term nutrient deficiency can lead to chronic diseases, and it can all be fixed with the right diet plan. Many processed foods are at work in our body, with chemicals and ingredients hidden in labels.
Traditional medicine doesn't always use diet as their first course of action. Yet with so many dietary guides out there, your body can often benefit from changing what you eat to reduce inflammation, heal dental troubles, and even treat cancer. Ask your holistic practitioner are diets like keto, paleo, gluten-free, and anti-inflammatory.
The goal of holistic medicine is to help you find total body healing. No matter the therapies you try, approach your treatment with the idea that your body is many parts working together.
One therapy isn't always the answer, so don't be afraid to consult with your doctor and other holistic professionals to find the right treatment for your ailments. Many times, several techniques used together can benefit your mind, body, and spirit.
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