Holistic & Alternative
What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and complementary therapies to promote optimal health, and prevent and treat disease by addressing contributing factors.
In practice, this means that each person is seen as a unique individual, rather than an example of a particular disease. Disease is understood to be the result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental imbalance. Healing, therefore, takes place naturally when these aspects of life are brought into proper balance. The role of the practitioner is as guide, mentor and role model; the patient must do the work - changing lifestyle, beliefs and old habits in order to facilitate healing. All appropriate methods may be used, from medication to meditation.
Many persons use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as part of their wellness routine. This area of wellness is very broad and constantly changing, but generally is considered to be a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered a part of conventional medicine. What are some types of CAM?
- Natural Products – this may include botanicals, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and other “natural products.”
- Mind/Body Medicine – These practices focus on the interaction among the brain, mind, body, and behavior and may include meditation, yoga, deep-breathing exercises and tai chi to name a few.
- Manipulative & Body-Based Practices – these focus primarily on the structures and systems of the body; two of the more well known practices are spinal manipulation and massage therapy.
The National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine had additional resources which can be found on their web site http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/.