Health insurance debates. Big Pharma. Skyrocketing medical costs. These topics point to increasing concern over healthcare in the United States. While many people have used holistic medicine or naturopathic medicine for decades, more and more people are moving to this alternative and natural approach to find ways to prevent getting sick in the first place. And if someone does get ill, there are many natural remedies that are much more cost-effective than some remedies found in mainstream medicine.
In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the National Center for Health Statistics report that 38% of American adults received some type of alternative medicine in 2007 (the latest numbers available). The study also reported that the largest percentage of patients using alternative medicine were between the ages of 40 and 69. This age group makes sense for turning to holistic remedies, as middle age begins creeping up and people start looking for natural and effective ways to maintain their health and wellness.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic Medicine is a type of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) that combines conventional medical science with natural complementary therapies such as nutrition, herbal remedies, homeopathy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and others. Holistic doctors believe that there is a connection between our environment, diet, lifestyle choices, genetics, and overall health.
Holistic medicine uses these tools to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. They also work with patients to create healthy lifestyles through education and counseling. We are trained to look beyond the surface of a patient’s health issues to find the source of the problem. Here are some of the best reasons to turn to holistic medicine
Treat Your Entire Self
Alternative medicine places its focus on treating the entire body. While some traditional medicine doctors will only treat the problem, disease or condition, alternative health doctors will focus on ensuring the entire body is functioning properly with a comprehensive treatment plan. Naturopaths know that the entire body must be in optimal health, working in harmony to ease a disease or condition– or prevent one from occurring in the first place. That’s why holistic approaches focus on the physical body as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of a person’s well-being, aiming to improve their overall quality of life.
Time with the Doctor
A common complaint with traditional medicine doctors is that they are “in and out” in no time at all. Many traditional doctors don’t take the time to talk to their patients to hear every complaint. They may not even ask about emotional well-being. Holistic doctors will take the time during every appointment to ensure the patient can explain their problem and will ensure every patient gets the one-on-one consideration they deserve.
Naturopathy is becoming increasingly popular because it focuses on prevention and wellness, and it encourages patients to take an active role in their own health care. One of the main purposes of holistic medicine is to prevent diseases and conditions from happening in the first place. Naturopathic physicians are trained to listen to patients’ concerns and provide personalized care. This means that they can better understand a patient’s unique needs and goals. Holistic patients are seen when they are well just as often as they are when they are sick. Naturopaths are experts in diagnosing and treating chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, asthma, allergies, digestive disorders, and autoimmune diseases. This helps the patient and holistic doctor form a plan for continued well-being and disease prevention.
Naturopaths are often able to help patients who don’t respond well to traditional methods of treatment. For example, many people have tried multiple medications for high blood pressure or cholesterol without success. Instead of taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, naturopathic doctors will often tell patients to take these natural treatments instead. Detoxification is another main point of holistic care, as ensuring the body is free of toxins will help to balance a patient’s well-being. Nutrition and exercise are two other hallmarks of holistic care. Meditation is another staple to ensure emotional well-being to eliminate stress. Naturopathic doctors offer a wide range of services, including primary care, women’s health, pediatrics, sports medicine, and much more.
Experience healthcare the way it was intended
Holistic medicine has been around since ancient times. It is based on the belief that the human body is an interconnected system, and that each part affects the whole. Conventional medicine tends to view the body as separate parts, which leads to many problems. For example, if you have a headache or chronic pain, your doctor might prescribe painkillers, but this doesn’t address the cause of the headache.
The goal of holistic medicine is to heal the entire body by addressing the root causes of illness and disease rather than simply masking symptoms. Holistic medicine isn’t new, but it is gaining popularity among Americans who want more control over their own health.