Holistic Medicine

There are many systems in the healthcare sector, including allopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, Unani and more. Some of these systems are very old, and others have evolved to form contemporary health care. And mind you, none of them are complete and can have some limitations, and they follow different ideologies and have their pros and cons. Holistic medicine is a healthcare system that treats the whole person and focuses on treatment and prevention. The meaning of holistic is dealing with the whole of something. Hence something that considers treating the body as a whole is called holistic medicine.
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The Concept of Holistic Medicine

The approach of holistic medicine is to treat a sick person as a whole and not just address the symptoms. The aim here is to improve the well-being of the body, mind, and soul. The basis of this system is that when a person is in physical pain or ailment, it affects them mentally and emotionally. Similarly, when the soul or mind faces problems, it affects the body. So, to treat any disease or disorder, it is essential to know the root cause of the disease. Only when the actual problem is solved; the patient will get completely cured. Otherwise, simply treating the physical symptoms with medications and not addressing the underlying mental and emotional issues will lead to an incomplete healing process. The pain will recur until these are addressed and may compel the person to be on medication. And this can cause side effects and aggravate the matter further.
In the system of holistic medicine, everything gets considered, and accordingly, the medical practitioner prepares a treatment plan. It is an individualized plan that combines contemporary and traditional medicine. The person receiving treatment under this system can get completely healed; gain a proper balance in life. When any one area of the mind, body, and soul gets imbalanced, it affects overall health. So, the goal here is to consider all aspects of why the person fell sick. If the mental issues cause physical pain, then the holistic doctor tries to find a solution to tackle these mental problems. It can be through exercise, lifestyle and dietary changes, or something that removes the mental issue bothering the patient.

Principles Of Holistic Medicine

Based on some core values like love and support, holistic medicine is a complete healer. It leads you to improved wellness by treating physical, emotional, and mental problems in one go. Here is a list of principles that this system is based on:
  • All people have innate healing powers.
  • Prevention is primary, and treatment is secondary.
  • A problem with the whole body causes the disease, not just a single event or body part.
  • Healing is through a team approach that involves a medical team and the patient and addresses all aspects of the latter's life.
  • The treatment outcome includes counseling, self-care, medications, and more and gets prepared by the medical team based on the different healthcare systems.
  • The treatment aims to fix the cause of the disorder and not just alleviate the symptoms.
  • A person's good health is a combination of physical, emotional, and mental wellness.

Types Of Treatments Under Holistic Medicine

Medical practitioners believe in holistic medicine and use different treatment techniques. Their main goal is to help patients to take responsibility for their wellness. As a result, they can achieve optimal well-being. These techniques may include:
  • Educating patients on their lifestyle changes
  • Promote wellness through self-care
  • Psychotherapy
  • Dietary changes
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Exercise
  • Relationship therapy
Yes, this list is not exhaustive. The medical practitioners may include some other treatment techniques, apart from this, that they deem suitable in a particular case.
These may include any of the following complementary and alternative therapies like:
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic care
  • Homeopathy
  • Massage therapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Surgery
  • Medications, both western and herbal

Definition Of a Holistic Doctor

A health practitioner practicing holistic medicine gets referred to as a holistic doctor. These common holistic doctors may include

Osteopath: a licensed physician who uses osteopathic manipulative medicine to treat health issues is an osteopath. It involves the physical manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. This system encompasses the entire body and includes muscles, bones, and nerves. And when one area faces a problem, it does affect the whole body. The doctors following this system use conventional treatments and incorporate musculoskeletal manipulation to treat a patient.

Integrative physician: licensed physicians who follow the integrative approach to healthcare come under this category. The professional may take training in other treatments and medicines to become capable of prescribing medications. And use the therapies therein during the treatment of their patients, which involves combining different medical techniques and systems. The treatment includes traditional medical care along with contemporary medicine. The medical practitioner may choose what is best for the patient from a wide range of therapies from different systems.

Ayurvedic doctor: a person attending an ayurvedic college; and who attains a medical degree under the Ayurveda system is licensed to practice medicine under it. Such a doctor then gets trained in other forms of the medical system. While treating patients may then use the knowledge from all these systems to provide the best treatment plan per the patient's requirements. The concept of Ayurveda is that the body faces health problems due to the imbalance in the doshas life energies. Treating the patients includes balancing these doshas. It can be through herbal medications followed by dietary modifications, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

Naturopathic doctor: an individual gets trained in naturopathic medicine by taking up a medical course at a naturopathic medical college. And thus, get issued a license to practice this medicine form. Usually, the system combines western science, natural therapies, and holistic approaches to treat a health issue in a patient. Natural therapy may be the primary or complementary treatment, per the patient's needs.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner: a licensed practitioner has to pass a certification exam in Chinese medicine or oriental medicine. According to this medicine form, every individual has a life force or qi. Optimum health depends on a flowing or balanced qi. Diseases and disorders can block or imbalance this qi. This form of medicine aims to balance qi through herbal medicine, acupuncture, and lifestyle therapies.

Benefits Of Holistic Medicine

Treating patients using holistic medicine has various benefits for the doctor and the patient. The list

Personalized care: holistic medicine considers all elements of the patient's health rather than just physical symptoms to treat them. The treatment outcome is more personalized.

Trusted relationships: holistic doctors have always believed in taking an emphatic approach to treating patients. Patients get treated as individuals and not disease laden with symptoms. This philosophy helps build trust between the doctor and the patient.

Patient empowerment: the holistic approach to care will empower patients to take over the responsibility for their wellness. Instead of just giving recommendations, they get counseled to eat healthily and exercise by involving in a conversation to find out what is suitable for them and encourage them to follow the best practices. This method is more effective.


The gist of this system is to develop the mind-body connection, essentially meaning thoughts and feelings affect our body, both positively and negatively. Contact Verita Life to know more.

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