Holistic Medicine – The Pros & Cons Explained!

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that involves the whole person including the mind, body, spirit, and emotions. The holistic medicine philosophy indicates that one can reach optimal health by gaining a proper balance. 

Holistic Medicine - The Pros & Cons Explained!

Holistic medicine practitioners believe that a whole person is made up of independent parts, and if one of these parts is not working properly, all of the other parts will be affected.

It can negatively affect your overall health if you have any imbalances in either the physical, emotional, or spiritual aspects of your life.

In this article, we have compiled an ultimate guide to holistic medicine. Read on for the pros and cons of holistic medicine explained! Let’s dive in.

Principles Of Holistic Medicine 

Holistic medicine is based on the belief that love and support is the most powerful healer. It is also based on the idea that a person is ultimately responsible for their health and well-being. 

Other principles of holistic medicine include: 

  • The patient is a person, rather than a disease
  • Everyone has innate healing powers 
  • Healing requires a team approach and involves all aspects of a person’s life
  • Treatment involves fixing the cause, rather than just alleviating the symptoms

Pros Of Holistic Medicine 

Holistic medicine has many benefits, (see also: Holistic Yoga & Anxiety – Benefits And Poses You Should Try)and we will take a closer look at these below! 

Whole-Person Treatments 

Traditional medicine sees disease as a separate entity from the person who carries it and distances itself from the healthy parts of the patients.

A key difference between alternative and traditional medicine is that alternative medicine emphasises the care of the whole body. 

It looks at the person’s emotional and spiritual health, as well as the physical body. 

Personal Attention

Due to the emphasis on whole-body care, alternative medicine is tailored towards the person, rather than a general treatment plan.

This offers the patients a large amount of personal attention, meaning patients feel that they are being seen uniquely.

Prevention Focus 

Alternative medicine also focuses on prevention. When it comes to traditional medicine, doctors will usually only intervene when there is an issue to be treated, and when disease is present. 

However, many different types of alternative medicines encourage patients to visit the doctor for good visits. This means that they focus on preventing illness before it occurs, as well as treating an illness when you are sick.

Cons Of Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine also has some disadvantages, and we will take a closer look at these below! 

These concerns should not prevent you or your loved ones from using alternative medicine, they simply will offer more information on the decision-making process. 

Limited Scientific Research 

The research is growing when it comes to holistic medicine over the years as more people turn to it. Evidence is still limited when it comes to the effectiveness of this research, and this leaves many questions unanswered. 

There is not enough solid research to suggest that certain holistic approaches to medicine work as well as traditional medicine.

Confusing Marketing

When it comes to marketing, it is difficult to decipher the language. It is easy to confuse the words ‘safe’ and ‘natural’. The two are not synonymous, although certain marketers indicate that they are. 

Some dietary supplements are labelled as natural. It is also problematic to see the manufacturer claim that their products are miracle cures. 

Potentially Dangerous Interactions 

In certain cases, if you are taking both prescription or over-the-counter medication and holistic alternatives, they may interact with each other.

Some of the natural products that you may take can have side effects of their own.

Types Of Holistic Treatments 

Holistic Medicine - The Pros & Cons Explained!

Holistic practitioners use a large variety of different treatment techniques. They help their patients take responsibility for their well-being and encourage them to achieve optimal health. 

The types of treatment include things like:

Lifestyle Changes

Patients are educated on lifestyle changes when it comes to self-care. This can include exercise, diet, psychotherapy, spiritual counselling, and relationship counselling. 

Alternative Therapies 

You can also opt for some alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, homoeopathy, and naturopathy.

How To Find A Holistic Provider 

Holistic providers include lots of different types of doctors, including homoeopathic doctors, chiropractors, and doctors of osteopathy.

When choosing a holistic provider, you should follow the tips below: 

Don’t Go With Just Anyone 

It is important to find a professional who is good at their job, and someone you feel comfortable with. Before you choose a holistic medicine doctor, you should ensure that you have a recommendation from someone that you trust. 

If you don’t know anyone who can recommend someone to you, you should contact a credible health organisation for this support. 

Do Your Research 

Before you select a holistic doctor, you should ensure that you find out everything you can about a person’s experience, training, and specialty. You should also research their association with hospital affiliations and professional organisations. 

Ensure that you check if they are board certified in holistic medicine and consider the doctor’s treatment(see also: How To Treat Anxiety With Holistic Medicine & Treatments) philosophy. 

Your philosophy must line up with the healthcare provider because you need to believe in the treatment plan. 

Do You Feel Comfortable?

Once you have selected a healthcare provider, they must make you feel at ease and take into account your concerns. 

As holistic medicine requires a team approach, it is important to feel like you are working alongside the provider and that you feel confident and comfortable with them.

Appointment Time 

It is important to choose a provider that you spend enough time with so that they can get to know your needs and gather a full understanding of these needs. 

Ensure that when you are in the appointment, the correct questions are being asked. Expect to answer questions about your exercise and sleep habits, emotional well-being, religious beliefs, relationships, and much more.

Treatment Options 

When it comes to developing a treatment plan, you need to ensure that it goes beyond pills. Ensure that all of your lifestyle factors are considered, not just the factors that are likely to be contributing to your illness.

Origins Of Holistic Medicine 

Holistic therapy has been around for centuries. It dates back as far as the Greek philosopher Hippocrates. There are many different methods of traditional medicine, including Ayurveda (see also: What To Include In An Ayurveda Breakfast? (Essential Items Included))and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The practice of holistic medicine has only made its way into the Western hemisphere in recent years, and it is thought that this was due to colonialism.

Bringing the body and mind together was seen as being wrong and barbaric by colonisers, and so this method of treatment was rejected for a long time. 

Since then, though, the tide has started to turn against conventional healthcare and mental health.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! After reading the pros and cons of holistic medicine, you should now have all the information you need.

If holistic medicine is for you, ensure that you follow the tips in this article to help you find the correct healthcare professional for you. 

Clare McAfee
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