What is Behind Holistic Medicine?
As medical costs increase and people grow skeptical of traditional medical advice and pharmaceuticals, holistic medicine is playing a more significant role. Holistic medicine is known as treating the whole person with the goal of achieving a balance in mind, body and the spirit.
While Western medical practices focus on treating the physical symptoms and complaints of illness and disease, a holistic approach looks at a variety of factors that may be contributing to health problems. Holistic therapies range from the use of herbs to yoga and meditation practices to massage and crystals. Different holistic practitioners specialize if different modalities and treatments, so depending on where you live you may have a variety of types of holistic doctors from which to choose.
Although holistic medicine was once considered by many (especially in the West) to be illegitimate, these days even doctors who have studied traditional Western medicine are starting to recognize the benefits of many holistic medicine perspectives and treatments. Even medical doctors will suggest certain holistic treatments as a supplement to their methods.
The basic concept of holistic medicine is that each person has a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual component to his or her body. Each part has different and unique levels of consciousness and energy. When there is disharmony between the different parts, the body can become unhealthy, resulting in illness or disease. People who practice holistic medicine believe harmony must be recreated in order for healing and health to take place.
Common signs of disunity in one’s body are a compromised immune system, aches and pains, and emotional instability. The holistic practitioner’s goal is to restore balance first, which results in the improvement and eventual disappearance of symptoms. The way to meet this objective varies greatly from doctor to doctor. Some chiropractors also specialize in holistic medicine, and they focus on creating balance through spinal alignment. On the other hand, an herbalist or nutritionist is going to focus on creating balance through foods and herbal concoctions.
While there are many different categories within holistic medicine, it is possible to pinpoint five of the most popular therapies:
· Acupuncture-a traditional Eastern medicine that utilizes needles inserted into certain points in the body to stimulate energy flows and positively influences healing and pain relief.
· Aromatherapy-popularized by scented candles and lotions, this therapy uses essential oils and other natural materials and substances to provide various aromas that have been known to heal, energize, rejuvenate and relax.
· Homeopathy-uses natural substances that may create illness symptoms in a healthy person to boost health in a sick person who is experiencing the same symptoms. It is important that this therapy is administered and monitored by a knowledgeable practitioner, because side effects can become dangerous in some cases.
· Meditation-considered by some a false form of treatment, meditation has plenty of fans. It’s a form of concentration, increasing awareness and removing distractions; while many people use it for personal development, others believe meditation can promote healing and rejuvenation.
· Reflexology-this treatment is much more than foot massage, but rather a pain reliever and potential healing method that utilizes pressure on particular points in the hands and feet in an effort to help the body to heal itself as well as prevent illness and disease.