Holistic medicine is a method of healing that takes the entire person into consideration during healing. The body, spirit, emotions, and mind are all a part of the healing process, and the ultimate goal is to achieve optimal balance in life. This results in the best health. In order to do this, holistic healers follow a specific set of principles that are designed to help patients achieve the balance that will result in better health.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Physicians in holistic medicine use a variety of options for treatment and diagnosis that are effective, yet safe:
• Providing education in proper self-care and lifestyle changes
• Alternative therapies that are complementary
• Conventional medicine such as medications and surgery when needed
Determining the Problem
Rather than simply treating the symptoms, holistic medicine places more importance on finding the cause of the disease. By understanding what is causing the illness or symptoms, proper treatment can be determined that will provide better healing.
Physicians spend equal amounts of time determining the type of patient that suffers from disease, and the types of disease that a patient may have. This allows for a better understanding of both processes to determine the factors that affect both disease and the person.
Holistic medicine focuses on prevention over treatment. This allows the patient’s body to use its own abilities to heal itself and is also considerably more cost effective than any other treatments.
When illness occurs, it is not a single isolated occurrence. Instead, holistic medicine views it as a symptom of some dysfunction of the patient’s whole person. This helps to develop an appropriate approach to healing that considers the mind, spirit, body, and emotions.
Healing outcomes depend on the quality of the relationship between the patient and physician. While this is a doctor/patient relationship, the goal is for the patient to be self-sufficient and independent during the healing process.
As a part of this principle, the relationship between the patient and physician should also consider the needs of both, including awareness, desires, needs, and individual insight in order to develop the best possible relationship. Additionally, physicians in holistic medicine influence their patients by the examples that they provide in their own behaviors and approaches to healing.
Situations involving disease, pain, and even the dying process are all considered to be learning opportunities for both the patients and their physicians, as they provide greater insight into the conditions affecting the body, and what can be done for future healing.
Physicians encourage their patients to release shame, greed, hostility, anger, fear, grief, and depression to rid themselves of the toxic consequences. Instead, love humor and hope are encouraged for the healing that they provide.
The most powerful medicine in life is unconditional love, and holistic physicians endeavor to adopt that attitude with themselves, their patients, and others who practice holistic medicine.
Optimal health is the mindful pursuit of the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and mental aspects of life, and finding the highest quality possible, rather than being free from illness.
By following these principles, holistic physicians heal their patients in ways that make their entire lives healthier while also treating and preventing illness.