If you’re unfamiliar with holistic medicine, you probably think of it as something complicated and weird; perhaps involving chanting and rubbing wheat germ all over your body while snorkeling in a vat of tofu. “Forget this!” you might exclaim, while throwing your hands up in the air. “I don’t even know a tofu wholesaler, so what does holistic medicine have to offer me?” Well, put your hands down and give me a minute to explain. Fortunately for those of us who don’t have access to drums of tofu or accompanying snorkels, holistic medicine is actually a very legitimate and logical outlook on health.
In its simplest form, holistic medicine treats the entire person (mind and body) in order to treat ailments. A holistic healer believes that one should treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms; the end goal of holistic medicine being an all-around healthier body.
Holistic treatments include:
- Teaching patients how to properly care for their bodies and minds. There’s a great focus on proper diet and exercise, as well as spiritual and emotional counseling. Let’s face it- an unhealthy mind can quickly lead to an unhealthy body. Holistic healers believe that treating the spiritual and mental needs of a patient is a key part of complete care.
- Alternative therapies that combine well with western medicine. These include massage therapy and chiropractic care, among others. Frequently, a physical ailment can be connected to another source that might not be immediately obvious. Here’s an example: Someone very close to me wet the bed as a child. As you can imagine, this was very shameful for him and concerning for his parents. After several trips to the pediatrician, the family decided to visit a chiropractor and after a few adjustments they were able to put the rubber sheets away for good. It turned out that removing the stress from the nerves in his spine removed a lot of the pressure on his bladder.
- Western medications and surgical procedures. I really don’t want to knock traditional medicine; you absolutely should see your primary care physician for regular checkups and care for any illnesses. Do not give up going to your doctor. What I’m saying is that both traditional and holistic care are able to coexist rather well. Furthermore, western medicine is actually coming around a little more every year. You’d be hard pressed to find a family care physician nowadays who didn’t agree that alternative therapies can complement traditional medical care.
So, there you have it- no weirdness. Holistic medicine is actually a very sane and responsible way to care for your body and mind. If you’re interested in learning more about this all inclusive way to treat your body I encourage you to talk to your physician and your chiropractor about your interest. They may be able to recommend a practitioner in your area. You can also find a wealth of information on the internet. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t kill you to try a little tofu; that stuff is crammed with protein.
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