There’s been a lot of talk about holistic medicine over the last few decades. However, it’s common not to know what it is or how it works. To look at something holistically is to consider the whole of it and how all its parts interconnect and relate. This means observing all aspects of a patient’s health and the factors influencing it for holistic medicine. Treatment is applied accordingly, focusing on treating the patient’s illness, not just its symptoms.
How Holistic Care Works And How It Benefits You
The various areas of our bodies are far more interconnected than we generally give them credit for. For years medicine was focused only on the symptoms and the area where they appeared. As the understanding of the systemic nature of our health grew, medical science began to realize that a broader approach was necessary. When a holistic doctor works with a patient, they discuss their concerns. However, the next step is where things go a little differently. They’ll assess every area of a patient’s health, their lifestyle, and what may be the underlying cause of their concerns.
Stress, for example, has long been understood to be an aggravating factor in many health conditions. While not a direct cause, it can render us more vulnerable to illness by suppressing our immune system. Further, it can take longer to recover as our body isn’t working efficiently. The tension stress can cause in our muscular system can lead to pain, stiffness, and discomfort in our body and can even impact mobility. These points of muscular stress can also lead to inflammation, which has long-term consequences for our overall health.
Mental health is another major focus of holistic medicine. Just as stress can apply significant pressure on our immune system and other bodily functions, mental health can do the same. However, the consequences can extend beyond simple symptoms and indirectly cause health concerns. Depression can make it challenging to care for ourselves, leading to health concerns. Consider, for instance, the consequences of being unable to perform basic hygiene or keep up with household chores. Failing dental health and complications caused by prominent amounts of dust and mold are just basic examples.
The Philosophy Behind Holistic Healthcare
Those who experience holistic care benefit from a doctor who treats them as a whole person, not a disease or set of symptoms. Further, they take a specific interest in each of their patients. This leads to the following benefits for the patient:
- Personalized Care – Holistic medicine starts from the premise that every person is different, as are their health concerns. Each patient’s care is personalized to their health concerns, lifestyle, and goals. One cure fits all approaches are alien to holistic care.
- Trust-Based Relationships – Holistic practitioners take a vested interest in each patient. This leads to conversations and exchanges of information built on trust and respect. A holistic doctor needs to build this trust so patients can feel comfortable sharing information that provides a whole image of the conditions they’re having treated.
- Patient Empowerment – It’s essential that patients receiving holistic care feel empowered to make decisions in their healthcare. Further, they need to be provided with information that helps them understand the full scope of their health and what’s impacting it. In holistic care, patients work with doctors to determine approaches to care that work for them.
If you’re interested in how holistic healthcare can help you, contact your local provider. They can schedule a consultation and discuss how they provide care and how you can work together to help improve your health from a holistic approach.