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Holistic Medicine: Explained

The Canadian Holistic Medical Association describes Holistic Medicine as follows.

An integrated approach to health care promotes optimal physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health by fostering a cooperative relationship among all involved.

A holistic approach emphasizes learning and taking responsibility for one's health and well-being. It emphasizes the importance of examining a patient in totality, including physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual, and lifestyle factors. Drugs and surgery are included if no safe alternative exists for diagnosing and treating patients.

Suzan Walter, president of the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA), put together an outstanding overview of the principles of holistic health. Those unknown with holistic Medicine may read this brief description. The AHHA website has a copy of it.

Other Terms Related to Holistic Medicine

Alternative Medicine

Medical practitioners who do not subscribe to the majority's "conventional" or "allopathic" medical techniques (typically M.D.s) often use Alternative Medicine (Wendell, 2001). Medical Herbalism, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, and Reiki are a few non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical approaches available (Wendell, 2001). Though Alternative Medicine is frequently used to refer to experimental pharmaceuticals or non-pharmaceutical therapies that are not accepted by conventional medical practitioners, in some cases, it also refers to therapies that are not currently accepted by those practitioners (Wendell, 2001). As non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical therapies gain acceptance and popularity among the mainstream medical profession, they will no longer be referred to as Alternative Medicine (Wendell, 2001).

Alternative Medicine encompasses methods not currently endorsed by conventional doctors, but what is currently acknowledged is constantly evolving. Even the definition of a conventional practitioner is constantly evolving. Therefore, Alternative Medicine techniques that are currently considered standard will soon be considered conventional Medicine. Because they are slightly more stable than Alternative Medicine, the terms Holistic Healing and Holistic Medicine are preferable.

Complementary Medicine

"Conventional" medical practitioners frequently employ non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques in addition to conventional medical treatment, such as drugs and surgery. "Complementary" Medicine describes these techniques, which are not invasive or pharmaceutically active. "Conventional" Medicine is utilized as a primary tool, and non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical techniques are used as an additional treatment when desired.

Many non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive healing techniques can be used alongside lifestyle alterations to heal chronic and acute ailments. Depending on the case, it may or may not be used as part of a Holistic Healing Programme. In different circumstances, "conventional" Medicine is only required in emergencies or when safer, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical methods are ineffective.

Natural Healing

Non-invasive and non-pharmaceuticals techniques are often used to help patients recover in a natural healing process. When people use the term natural healing, they typically refer to only physical healing.

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