November 2

Holistic Medicine: A Guide for Beginners

Our body is a complex and sophisticated machine full of systems that work congruently to help us feel well. All day, every day, our body is working even when we are not consciously aware of it, and we benefit from this as we need not remind ourselves to do the things that keep us alive. However, when our body sends us signals that something is wrong, it’s usually a good idea that we pay attention to it and seek treatment when appropriate. Unfortunately, however, traditional medicine often addresses the issue within one body system while failing to acknowledge the person as a whole, and recognizing the ways in which illness is a whole body concern. For this reason, more and more people are turning to holistic medicine for its whole-person approach to healing. In this article, we will discuss what holistic medicine is and how it can help you.

Holistic Health Meaning

Before we jump into how holistic medicine can help you, let’s start by discussing holistic health meaning. Holistic medicine is a means of practicingtc medicine that views the patient as a whole. Traced all the way back to the 6th century in India, where practitioners would use herbs to heal energies in people, practitioners of holistic health and medicine continue to take into consideration a person’s mind, body, and spirit as being equally important when searching for appropriate interventions and treatments.

In contrast, traditional medicine, historically speaking, has always focused on body systems and what ails them. Traditional medicine doctors then follow empirical steps using medications and procedures to treat these ailments. And, while in more recent years, conventional medicine has started to shift its focus to more patient-centered care, holistic health and medicine providers have long practiced this. Moreover, holistic medicine has an upstream approach through the prevention of health issues with truly patient-centered interventions, such as education and lifestyle changes that promote health in a way that aligns with nature. For this reason, holistic medicine often combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies, such as accupuncture and aromatherapy, to then become integrative medicine.


What is a holistic medicine doctor?

While many people who are unfamiliar with holistic health and medicine may assume (incorrectly) that holistic medicine doctors do not have formal training, the truth is quite the opposite. So what is a holistic doctor definition? Holistic doctors can include several kinds of trained professionals. Some examples are Osteopathic (DOs) and Integrative doctors, Naturopathic and Ayurvedic doctors, and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. For DOs and Integrative doctors, both are medically trained physicians, who have received additional training in either musculoskeletal manipulations or complementary therapies. Whereas Naturopathic doctors go through a Naturopathy school similar to medical school, and must pass certification boards to practice just as medical doctors do. An Ayurvedic doctor practices ancient Indian medicine, which is still observed in India today. However, here in the US, there are currently no boards that certify Ayurvedic practitioners. And, lastly, there are traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners who undergo training for two to four years to learn the use of herbs and energy work to heal various ailments.

At Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, our doctors, Dr. Jyothi Rao and Dr. Sudhir Rao, are medically trained doctors who specialize in integrative medicine. So, while they have all the same training, professional licenses, and board certifications as any other MD, they focus on providing care using both traditional medicine and complementary therapies to deliver better care for their patients from a holistic perspective.


What are complementary therapies?

Many people have heard the terms alternative and complementary therapy, and often think the two are interchangeable. However, alternative therapies are therapies meant to replace a traditional treatment whereas complementary therapies aim to compliment traditional medicine interventions. Since holistic health care focuses on prevention and identifying the root cause of ailments, traditional medicine practices are coupled with complementary therapies to address issues that may not heal with conventional medicine alone, such as stress and nutrition-based health issues. Some common holistic therapies include:

  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Massage
  • Herbal medicine
  • Hypnosis
  • Aromatherapy

At Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, we specialize in cardiovascular health, gut imbalances, hormonal imbalances, sports performance, and weight managment. Because of the wide range of health issues we cover, some of the holistic therapies we offer are:

Our comprehensive diagnostic testing helps us determine which of these therapies would be best for you.

Doctor uses needles for treatment of the patient

What are the benefits of holistic and integrative medicine?

As mentioned before, traditional medicine focuses on the body system, or systems, that are suffering and utilizes medications and procedures to reduce symptoms while neglecting to view the person as a whole. However, many health issues are just a snapshot of a larger health picture. Holistic medicine focuses on the big picture to figure out how smaller aspects of a photo play into that. Because holistic health care takes the whole person into account, patients receive benefits that they may not get from traditional medicine, such as:

  • Personalized care: Each person has a unique health story, which is why treatments are not viewed as a one-size-fits all. Integrative medicine cultivates a treatment plan using both traditional and holistic medicine to meet your specific health needs.
  • Empowerment: Holistic care places the control back in your hands, and encourages you to join the team alongside your doctors to follow through on the things that will help you feel better.
  • Better outcomes: Because integrative medicine uses both traditional medicine and complementary therapies to identify and address the source of an ailment rather than simply mask symptoms, patients reap the benefits of a whole body approach.
  • Better health: Since the long term goal of holistic health is prevention, you will benefit from better health now and in the future.

Holistic Health at Shakthi Health and Wellness Center

At Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, we are primary care providers with over 20 years of experience who focus on you rather than your illness. Our comprehensive approach is geared to treat all aspects of health including mind, body, and spirit. Because we feel that quality health care should have no time limits, you won’t feel rushed through your appointments, and our providers will take the time to explore your needs and discuss appropriate health care plans. And, since our model is not restricted by insurance payments and non-coverage, you can pick the number of visits and therapies to best support your health goals. To set up an appointment or explore options, visit us at www.raowellness.com. In closing, holistic medicine is health care that keeps the focus on you as a person while helping you heal and feel your best.

Sources:

The New Old (and Old New) Medical Model: Four Decades Navigating the Biomedical and Psychosocial Understandings of Health and Illness – PMC (nih.gov)

Beginners Guide to Holistic Health | Chopra

Holistic Medicine: A Guide for Beginners – Pacific College


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