Holistic care is not a new medical approach, but it has gained a new popularity among the mainstream healthcare community. Not too long ago, the holistic doctor was difficult to find, but today, you will find hospitals, dentists, nurses and even veterinarians that offer some form of holistic care.
The idea is a simple and logical one. A person’s mental, emotional or spiritual state can affect their physical health and vice versa. Those who are in poor physical health, generally speaking, have more mental or emotional problems.
Most of today’s health care professionals consider the patient’s mental health, but the importance of spiritual health is rarely considered.
Illness or injury may bring up questions in those who are religious. “Why is this happening to me?” “Why is God doing this to me?” Holistic doctors consider the patient's spiritual health and well-being.
Taking into account a patient’s spiritual health is one reason that many doctors turned away from holistic care, but more and more are coming to realize that it is a vital component of overall well-being. New research has had a lot to do with raising this awareness in mainstream doctors.
Over the years, there have been thousands of studies concerning the value of holistic care. Many of the studies concerned terminally ill patients. Most were suffering from some form of cancer.
When a person is living his last few days, months or years, the primary objective is to, of course, make them comfortable and relieve their suffering, but much of the latest research concerns issues like quality of life, sense of well-being, the importance of family, friends and other outlets that can relieve emotional pain and suffering.
If the oncologist (a cancer specialist) is not also somewhat of a holistic doctor, then he needs a staff that can provide complementary therapies unrelated to drugs or surgery. Or, if he is not a holistic doctor, he may refer the patient to a naturopathic doctor for supplemental care.
No one is saying that modern drugs and surgical procedures do not have their place, only that complementary treatment plans can speed recovery, lengthen life spans, and improve the quality of a person’s life.
Indeed, research conducted in the hospital setting has shown that holistic treatment can lessen pain, improve circulation and quicken recovery time in post-surgical patients.
As a result, an increasing number of hospitals are providing holistic treatment and care. The therapies that they offer can range from massage, acupuncture and chiropractic services, as well as more unique programs, such as animal assisted therapy, music and art programs, and aroma and water therapies.
The list of natural non-invasive, non-drug complementary therapies is long. Scientific research is more and more vindicating holistic treatmet and care; in short, the use of herbs and botanicals, prayer and meditation, physical manipulation, massage, healing touch and many more non-conventional treatment plans should not be overlooked.
Moreover, the list of medical conditions that have been shown to benefit from holistic care is long. Fibromyalgia, a chronic painful condition, responds best to a combination of drug and planned physical activity. Dietary changes can benefit most conditions. Allergies, diabetes, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease are just a few.
A holistic doctor combines therapies based on a patient’s condition or refers the patient to someone who can.
The traditional family doctor knew his patients and prescribed treatment plans according to their own and their family’s history. Naturopathic doctors have been providing holistic care since early in the twentieth century.
Ancient healers recognized the mind, body, spirit connection. Now, most modern mainstream doctors are willing to accept that there is a connection and it is supported by scientific evidence. Even though holistic care is not a new idea, its time has finally come.
My name is Rami El-Hussieny. I am a Naturopathic Doctor and currently taking on clients one-on-one to help them improve their health the natural way. I currently practice in East Lansing, MI and Ann Arbor, MI.
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