What is holistic medicine?

While modern medicine has made significant advancements, most people are today turning to holistic medicine for treatment. In fact, over a third of Americans are currently using or have used holistic medicine in the past. So what is holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine is a form of therapeutic practice that treats the “whole” person (body, spirit, emotions, and mind). The philosophy argues that one can achieve optimum health and wellness if you gain proper balance in life.

Principles of alternative medicine

According to the holistic medicine philosophy, the whole person comprises of interdependent parts and when one part isn’t functioning properly, all the others are affected. Thus, if you have any imbalances –emotional, physical, or spiritual- in your life, it can affect negatively your overall health. Other principles of holistic treatment are:


  • Everyone has an innate healing power
  • A patient is a person and not a disease

Treatment entails fixing the underlying cause, not just alleviating the symptoms of the condition

What does this type of medicine entail?

It entails a broad range of treatment plans. But typically, here is what fall in the category of holistic medicine:

Alternative medicines – these usually are the mainstream and more accepted forms of therapy. They can entail acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy.

Manipulative techniques – these involve manual manipulation of the body to bring it back to optimum health. They include massage therapy, chiropractic, reflexology, acupressure, osteopathic medicine.

Mind-based interventions – holistic medicine recognizes the power of the connection between body and mind. That means people tend to heal better when they have good mental and emotional health. Mind interventions can comprise of meditation, yoga, hypnosis, and biofeedback.

Biologically-based therapy – nutritional deficiency and excesses are a problem in today’s society, and this has led to different chronic illnesses. Cognizant of that fact, that this medicine integrates dietary and herbal approaches to balance the nutritional well-being of the body. Examples of the biologically-based holistic medicine include aromatherapy and herbal medicines.

External energy therapy – this involves the use of energy such as ultrasound, electromagnetic, thermal and subtle to heal the body. The therapy can include bio-electromagnetic, bio-field, Reiki, and Qigong.


Benefits of treatment

Here are some of the benefits:

Wholesome treatment– Holistic medicine puts the emphasis on the whole-body care. Besides treating the condition in the physical body, it can improve your spiritual and emotional health.

Use of natural methods and resources- holistic medicine utilizes natural herbs, medicines, and methods in its treatment plan. These detoxification and non-invasive remedies are deemed to have fewer side effects since they do not contain toxic substances.

Personalized attention– holistic practitioners typically offer patients with a personalized attention. With a wide range of treatments available, the practitioner can come up with a customized plan for each patient.

Remedy for numerous conditions- one treatment plan can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. For instance, acupuncture can be used to treat chronic aches and pains as well as ease anxiety, boost focus, and improve your mood.

Emphasis on prevention- while conventional medicine aims to intervene once the disease appears; most holistic medicine treatments promote being proactive in your well-being. Hence, besides caring for those who are already ill, it focuses on preventing illnesses even before they show any symptoms.


The takeaways

Holistic medicine offers you an avenue to take more control of your body’s wellness. That is because, giving your body, spirit, and mind equal attention stimulates your natural abilities to heal and ultimately improves your overall health.

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