Holistic medicine centers on treating the entire person—mind and body—regardless of the malady, in an effort to better prevent and combat disease, illness and other health problems. If practiced responsibly, holistic medicine has many advantages not only for the patient, but for family and friends who may be affected by a friend’s condition, as well.
Holistic medicine treats the whole person
More Understanding of the Problem
Rather than a doctor telling you, “Take to and call me in the morning,” a key principal of holistic medicine is to involve the patient in his recovery. This provides a variety of benefits, including decreasing fear and stress in the patient, which can suppress the immune system and further exacerbate illness. More two-way communication often results in the patient volunteering important information he may not have thought was relevant, or which a traditional doctor may not have learned through standard treatment.
More Emphasis on Prevention
Holistic medicine attempts to treat the causes of illness to prevent future or further outbreaks of a disease or condition. Even while treating an outbreak, a doctor who gets to and deals with the root of a problem allows patients to get a one-two punch to existing maladies. Practicing preventive care also allows you to spot warning signs of conditions you want to prevent.
Using naturally occurring treatments, such as herbs and whole foods, holistic treatment reduces the amount of toxins and the side effects of synthetic medicines, conventional treatments and surgeries. Getting vitamin C from an orange, for example, allows the nutrients to absorb into the body better than a synthetic supplement and costs less.
Mind Power Actually Works
Our thoughts (fear, sadness, happiness, anger) cause our brains to release both helpful and detrimental brain hormones, including testosterone, estrogen and catecholamines such as, norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine, which are the “fight or flight” chemicals release during stress. These chemicals affect your central nervous system and can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, affect our muscles or reduce saliva production.
Just think about your reaction to standing up in front of a room of people to give a speech, or when you see a police car’s lights in your rearview mirror pulling you over. Stress that occurs early in life is more difficult to counteract and can have long-term effects. Using the mind-body connection in positive ways can help reduce stress and increase the release of positive brain chemicals to help avoid immune system suppression.