The term Holistic Health can conjure up words like “alternative “or “eastern medicine” and although these are some components, they are not the whole story. Holistic Health Care is provided by a variety of healthcare practitioners, including medical doctors’, chiropractors, physical therapists, nutritional counselors, massage therapists, health coaches, yoga instructors, herbalists, acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors. Holistic Health simply means that the practitioner does not see the patient as a collection of symptoms or a diagnosis but instead takes the whole person into consideration: physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. A central thought of holistic medicine is that the individual has an innate ability to heal and is responsible for their own well-being and the practitioner is simply one aspect of their overall wellness plan.
Imagine you go to a medical doctor for chronic headaches. They may just prescribe pain relief medication. A holistic approach however may also include a recommendation for a massage therapist because of the physical tension in your neck. When you go to the massage therapist you realize repetitive thoughts come up when the therapist works on that area of your neck. The thoughts relate to a painful memory. When you tell your massage therapist, they recommend a mental health counselor and after several sessions with them you find the tension in your neck is greatly reduced, relieving the headaches. This example of integrative treatment is becoming increasingly popular because humans are more than a collection of physical symptoms, we are complex social and emotional beings.
Do you need to have a chronic illness or diagnosis to seek a holistic practitioner? No! Many people seek holistic practitioners as a preventive measure. Staying healthy and working towards health goals is much easier when collaborative efforts are made and when you are supported by health professionals who truly care about your well-being. With this type of support, you may find more balance in your body, mind and heart.