The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine defines holistic medicine as “the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.” In other words, it doesn’t just focus on your physical health.
According to the practice, our health and well-being is the result of the interaction between physical, environmental, emotional, and psychological aspects of the person’s life. Therefore, what makes holistic medicine different is its integrative approach to health. It uses alternative as well as conventional medicine and studies all aspects of a person’s life.
The goal is to achieve holistic health, an “unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy through body, mind, and spirit.”
WebMD describes the four key principles of holistic.
- Your innate healing powers
Holistic medicine teaches that the body has an innate capacity to heal itself. For this reason, it wants to promote and encourage this naturally occurring healing by using different treatments and methods.
In addition, it believes that the best way to maintaining good health is by preventing illnesses in the first place. This is not just better for the body, but it is also cost-effective. Adopting good habits to improve wellness and prevent diseases is less taxing on the body than overcoming an illness.
To nurture the body’s capacity to heal itself, holistic medicine seeks to promote overall health instead of just treating a set of symptoms. In this case, good health goes beyond the absence of illness. It aims at achieving the best possible quality of life in the physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects.shutterstock_584215810 By Benjavisa Ruangvaree
- There is more to you than a disease
For holistic medicine, illness is the result of an imbalance or dysfunction of the individual. In addition, one way to treat this imbalance is to change the effects of negative emotions, experiences, habits, and memories. In other words, a holistic practitioner encourages clients to explore the effects of emotions and experiences on their health and to unburden themselves of harmful emotions and thoughts.
Consequently, positive emotions and feelings like love, enthusiasm, and hope may help to restore the balance and brings you closer to well-being.
Therefore, in this case, a disease is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself so you can improve your health and well-being in all areas of your life. Moreover, for practitioners, each client is a new opportunity to practice unconditional love and guide a person in their unique path towards wellness.shutterstock_251924452 By fotogestoeber
- Healing takes a team approach
An important part of the health practitioners job is to educate and empower you so that you can make informed decisions about your health and treatments.
Education is an important task for the practitioner. To promote wellness, you need to incorporate healthful habits under the guidance and encouragement from the of your health professional. For example, the you may be guide towards adopting a healthier diet, incorporating exercise, or seeking counseling.
You and the practitioner work as a team to restore well-being. So evidently, the relationship between you and the holistic practitioner is supportive and collaborative. In this ideal relationship, the practitioner listens and respects the your needs, opinions, and insights. And you are not a passive agent in your own health. Instead, you are encouraged to make your own decisions.
Another important aspect of a positive health practitioner-patient relationship in holistic medicine is the use of different treatments.
For some people, holistic medicine is not different from homeopathy or naturopathy. However, there is a difference.
Holistic medicine may use natural treatments if it is what is called for and you may benefit from them, but it also uses conventional medicine and treatments. The inclusion of a broader range of evidence-based therapies that offer different benefits helps the you get more comprehensive care.Shutterstock Ptd
- Fixing the causes of disease and not just the symptoms
The integral approach of holistic medicine to well-being allows it to go deeper into the health problems of the person, well beyond the physical symptoms of one illness.
Getting to the root of the issue also ensures you may find long-term health and prevents more episodes of the illness in the future.shutterstock_279124634 By Kiselev Andrey Valerevich