Is Holistic Medicine Right for You?
Let’s cut to the chase: traditional medicine is not for everyone. More and more people are beginning to explore new ways of healing their bodies in natural ways, and holistic medicine is emerging as a mainstream option. With overall wellness being the goal, nothing will stop the inner human desire to radiate youth, health, and happiness.
- Holistic medicine involves centuries old practices and new research to provide alternative healing and wellness
- Just like traditional medicine is not for everyone, holistic medicine can have it's downsides
- If you're looking for new options, there are lots of holistic healing methods to try
What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is an alternative type of medicine that entails working towards overall whole-body health both physically and mentally. Typically, holistic medicine integrates traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. Traditional medicine is what your average doctor would be practicing through the use of medication and medical procedures. Complementary and alternative medicine focuses on other ways of treating mental and physical conditions that are centered on overall long-term health and well-being.
Holistic medicine can be compared to and used alongside Ayurveda, a healing system developed in India to promote wellness of the body, mind, spirit, and instill harmony within. Ayurveda directly translates to “the science of life”, which is very fitting in this blog post discussing holistic health and medicine. Similar to holistic modalities, the most common Ayurvedic treatments include diet, exercise, meditation, herbs, massage, exposure to sunlight, and controlled breathing. Ayurvedic treatments, although originated in India, are becoming extremely popular in today’s world to attempt a holistic lifestyle. People all over are incorporating ayurvedic practices and skincare into their routine, trying herbs to promote inner health, and attempting new meditation methods for increased wellness.
What is Health and Wellness?
Holistic medicine cannot be existent without the acknowledgment of wellness. We hear this word too often nowadays as it is thrown around faster than the brain can pinpoint a definition to it. Wellness this, wellness that, wellness everywhere, everything is wellness. This health-conscious society loves to throw that word in every marketing campaign to attract consumers who crave a new way of living. Since wellness is such a key part of holistic medicine and such a huge word used today, let’s dive into what exactly this broad term means.
Health and wellness are not the same words, although they could be cousins. Health covers all bases in terms of our physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Wellness, on the flip side, is more specific to the effort one puts into becoming more mentally, physically, and spiritually connected to their body through means of healthy life choices. If one is working towards their wellness overall, it is guaranteed that they are choosing a healthy mindset, diet, lifestyle, etc. So although these two terms go hand in hand, they are not the same word.
Wellness Concerning Holistic Medicine
Now, how does health and wellness tie into holistic medicine you may ask? Holistic medicine incorporates everything both health and wellness have to offer. Since holistic medicine takes a more organic and natural approach to living, wellness fits right into this equation, with health coming as the result of this lifestyle.
The focus of holistic medicine is identifying the root cause of health-related issues and then discovering how to incorporate natural healing, functional medicine, personalized care solutions, and some conventional medicine to find the best approach for unique health concerns. In more simplified words, holistic medicine treats the person, not just one aspect of them in isolation. With holistic medicine and treatment, one is attempting to find a single puzzle piece (the root issue) in order to complete the whole puzzle (their overall health).
Different Types of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine requires discipline and intention, and without a positive and healthy mindset, it may be hard to stay consistent with it. Holistic medicine can range from a diet change all the way to incorporating western herbal medicine into your daily routine. Here are a few different types of holistic medicine:
- Diet change
- Western Herbal Medicine
- Massage therapy
- Sauna use
- Different types of counseling and therapy
What makes holistic medicine unique is the fact that one can choose to try one of these modalities or try all of them. Most people who are trying a more holistic lifestyle incorporate multiple types into their routine depending on their health conditions and symptoms.
How Do I Know If It's Right For Me?
Before beginning a more holistic way of living through holistic medicine, you should ask yourself a few questions.
- What is my specific health concern? Is it connected to other issues within my body?
- What methods of medicine have I tried that have not helped?
- Does my health professional advise me to try other holistic modalities to support my health?
- What holistic medicine is the best solution for my conditions?
- What have other people said and researched about this specific holistic medicine such as acupuncture, herbals, or Ayurveda?
- Is this something I could integrate into my lifestyle?
After you have asked yourself these questions and have discussed the possibilities with a trusted health professional, it would be in your favor to explore the different types of holistic medicines that interest you and fit into your routine.
Some holistic practices can be implemented and attempted on your own time and schedule, such as meditation, breathwork, or other stress and anxiety-reducing holistic methods. Many people around the world have extremely benefitted from working towards a more conscious way of living in terms of a healthy diet, internalizing one’s thoughts through meditation, and remembering the importance of breathwork in the daily routine. It is a great direction to start with if one is feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, unhealthy physically or mentally, or generally unwell.
Need to ground yourself through meditation and other stress reducing techniques? We got you.
What Needs to be Made Clear
Holistic medicine is in no way “anti-science”. Holistic medicine is frequently used in combination with traditional medicine with instruction from a medical professional. Holistic medicine is not a replacement for traditional medicine, but an additional way of living that many prefer alongside more traditional treatments.
Everyone should be able and free to choose whatever method of healthcare they desire, but it is crucial to remain informed about the safety of both traditional and holistic methods if chosen. Also, just because something is claimed to be natural or healthy, that does not necessarily mean it is the right option for your body and health! Make sure to do your research before choosing a holistic medicine alternative and speak to a medical professional about your concerns beforehand.
Written by Bella Knuth