As holistic medicine is becoming popular across the United States, an increasing number of individuals are asking, “what does holistic mean and how is it different from going to a doctor?” The word “holistic” originates from the Greek word Holos, which means all, total, or entire. Fittingly, one of the main principles of holistic medicine is the treatment of the body as a whole, taking into account their physical body, as well as their mental and emotional states. Mindy, Body, Spirit is often used to describe what holistic medicine treats. By focusing on treating the whole body, holistic practitioners are able to find out the root cause of the patient’s ailment and develop an effective and natural treatment plan to treat it.
Over the past two decades, holistic medicine has been progressively integrating with Western medicine, ensuring that the patients receive the medications and other “Western” medical attention they need, while giving them the choice to deal with their ailments in a more natural, complementary, non-intrusive way, which is also typically easier on the body. In order to determine the root cause of the problem, holistic practitioners ask, touch, listen and observe carefully, which is one of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods of finding the underlying issue of a patient’s health problem.
Some of the holistic therapies currently popular in the United States include massage therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, holistic nursing, and oriental medicine, which encompasses a large range of therapies which trace their origin to ancient Asia. In many cases, holistic practitioners will combine therapies in order to ensure that the patient’s overall health is improved and maintained. For instance, if a patient comes to an acupuncturist to relieve their anxiety, the practitioner is likely to include other complimentary therapies into the treatment plan such as massage therapy, changes in diet, yoga and more.