Interested in Holistic Healthcare?
Holistic health care is more popular than ever before. Many people turn to practitioners such as certified health coaches and other types of providers to deal with various conditions.
Holistic Healthcare 101
You can combine holistic health care with your standard medical care as well. Increasingly, doctors such as oncologists, cardiologists, and other practitioners are willing to work with holistic providers for integrative treatment options.
So, what exactly is holistic healthcare, and how might it fit into your life?
Holistic medicine or health care is an incredibly broad term. It’s healing for the whole person. This includes your mind, body, emotions, and spirit. The idea is that by balancing each of these parts of your health and wellness, you can have optimal health.
There are holistic doctors, but many other types of practitioners can be considered holistic health care providers in one way or another.
If you were dealing with a chronic condition like migraines, just as an example, a holistic doctor would try to identify the root causes of your headaches rather than only prescribing a medicine.
They might identify changes that you would benefit from in your lifestyle, such as getting more sleep or eliminating certain triggers from your diet.
Holistic Healing Principles
The belief of holistic healing or medicine is that love and support are powerful healers, and also, as an individual, you are responsible for your health and well-being.
A patient is viewed as a person and not a disease, and healing takes a collaborative approach.
A guiding tenant of holistic healing is that you are fixing the cause of a condition rather than eliminating the symptoms.
Some of the different types of holistic doctors include:
- Osteopath: A doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) is a licensed physician. These practitioners use osteopathic manipulative medicine, which focuses on the musculoskeletal system. A DO is a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine. A DO goes to medical school and follows the same general path as an MD.
- Integrative physician: An integrative physician is a licensed medical doctor who combines conventional and alternative treatments.
- Naturopathic doctor: A naturopathic doctor is also called a doctor of naturopathic medicine (ND). These practitioners are trained in a combination of western medicine, holistic approaches, and natural therapy. They attend naturopathic medical colleges and they are licensed but are not medical doctors.
- Ayurvedic doctor: An ayurvedic doctor uses the ancient Indian system of Ayurveda. Practitioners of Ayurveda believe problems with health are caused by imbalanced life energies. Their treatment plans often include diet, lifestyle changes, and herbal medications.
These are holistic medicine practitioners, but many other people can be categorized as practitioners as well, just not as doctors.
For example, there are acupuncturists, nutritionists, health coaches, and even personal trainers and physical therapists who can be considered holistic care providers.
Types of Treatment
Much of the treatment in holistic care revolves around helping you learn how to make lifestyle changes. This means that you’re doing things like perhaps exercising, managing stress, and taking care of yourself in ways that lend themselves to an improvement in your condition.
These may be done on their own or combined with traditional medicine, depending on the condition being treated.
Some of the treatments often included in a holistic plan can include:
- Diet and nutritional counseling
- Support group participation
Practitioners may also perform therapies or recommend options like massage, reiki, and music therapy.
These treatments can work alongside western medicine options such as chemotherapy, prescription medicine, surgery, or radiation.
What a lot of people like about holistic treatments is that they not only consider the whole person, but they also think outside the box. They look at different approaches to help you feel better.
The changes you make as part of a holistic treatment plan are also often long-term options that you can do theoretically for the rest of your life to avoid future illnesses or maintain a good quality of life.
There is a tendency to think that it has to be one or the other when it comes to holistic and western medicine, and that’s not the case. Again, traditional medicine is often being integrated into western medicine.
Many health care providers are very willing to have patients also work with holistic practitioners, and they may even recommend them.
Regardless, if you’re considering holistic medicine in your life, make sure you find a qualified provider. That’s what makes the biggest difference and helps ensure you’re safe and well-cared for.