05 Feb An Extensive Guide to Holistic Medicine
Beyond conventional medicine, you may have heard references being made to alternative medicine and lifestyles involving holistic practices. You may have also heard of integrative and functional medicine, and wondered if they were any different from holistic medicine. In fact, holistic medicine is actually involved in both integrative and functional medicine. That is why we have prepared this Guide to holistic medicine for you.
First, what is Holistic Medicine? Simply put, holistic medicine involves caring for not only a person’s physical health, but also mental, spiritual, and emotional health. The Complete Herbal Guide’s article on the history of holistic medicine traces it back to 5000 years ago in ancient China. The philosophy of Chinese medicine was based on their Taoist and Buddhist belief that man and nature are closely linked, and that the body and spirit must be balanced. Internal forces being out of balance causes a sickness. In the West, it was introduced by the ancient Greeks. In modern times, the principles of holistic medicine remain similar: to treat the patient by naturally fixing any imbalance in their lifestyle.
Integrative medicine is — as the name implies — when a doctor/practitioner integrates two kinds of medical systems and practices them together. These systems are usually holistic medicine and conventional medicine, which treats a patient through drugs, radiation, or surgery. In integrative medicine, the doctor takes into account the patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual conditions before offering a solution. Treatment usually involves a mix of medications and changes in lifestyle.
Functional medicine is a more specific field. It is similar to integrative medicine but is more systematic and conventional in terms of finding the cause of the health problem. As with integrative healing, it prescribes medicines and suggests lifestyle changes. However, it utilizes laboratory testing to determine the physical root of the sickness rather than relying on anecdotal evidence from the patient.
The term “holistic medicine” might sound new, but it is actually more common than you think. My Domaine’s guide to holistic medicine explains some holistic healing practices. The most heard of would be acupuncture, which uses needles to stimulate certain points in the body to release energy. Another familiar practice is aromatherapy. This uses the sense of smell to calm the body. Meanwhile, chiropractic involves tweaking the spine to alleviate pain.
These practices might make it sound like holistic medicine will cost you. But keep in mind that holistic healing takes care of the person as a whole. This means that it is always applicable, not only when you’re sick. Here are some simple holistic practices you can do every day:
Being stressed will affect other aspects of your life, so it’s important to control and possibly prevent it. HelpGuide presents tips to help manage stress. The first is to identify the sources of stress in your life. Knowing why you are stressed helps you figure out what you should do next to relieve that. Try to point out which sources of stress are controllable, such as extra work you could say no to. However, this also means learning to accept the stressors that you cannot change. Regardless of the source of stress, don’t bottle your emotions up. Instead, engage in healthy coping habits, such as writing in a journal or sharing your thoughts with friends.
Moisturizers and cleansers can only do so much to help achieve healthy skin. It is important to remember that the skin health goes beyond what we can see externally. This means we should rethink the things we put on our skin, and ensure that everything is formulated for holistic wellness. PrettyMe’s review of AR Vitamin E Cream explains that creams made from natural ingredients and enriched with vitamin E can help treat a variety of conditions, such as melasma, cellulite, scars, and dark spots. Consider investing in creams and products that are only made from natural ingredients. However, also consider how other factors such as diet, stress, and hormones are impacting your skin.
The stomach contains microbes and bacteria, and absorbs nutrients and removes waste. Our article on “Can Environmental Toxins Affects Our Gut Microbiome?” warns how an imbalanced stomach can lead to diseases that will lead to other complications. Practicing a holistic diet can help prevent health problems. Choose organic food, read food labels and check that they are not genetically-engineered. Drinking tea also helps by boosting the immune system and preventing some diseases. In fact, different teas will have different effects on the body. Healthline’s article on green tea benefits show that it is high in antioxidants, boosts brain function, and helps weight loss.
Not having enough sleep will make you irritable. Not to mention your brain and body functions will suffer more, the more hours of sleep you miss. Sleep deprivation can lead to memory issues, heart disease, and mood disorders, among others. Dr. Michael John Badanek’s discussion on the importance of sleep talks about the effects of sleep, or lack thereof, and how this is connected with other activities. The article answers for functional medicine, but remember that holistic medicine is tied to it as well. Sleep detoxifies the body, consolidates memories, and heals the body as a whole. Having a good night’s sleep regularly will definitely help you stay healthy — not just physically, but mentally too.
Your job might require you to be seated for hours on end, and you might want to do anything but lie down when you can finally catch a break. No matter your circumstances, it’s important to still exercise. Physical activity doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or doing any of the heavy exercises. It can be as simple as going for a walk or stretching for about half an hour every day. What’s more, research shows how physical activity affects mental health, explaining that exercise tells the brain to release serotonin and endorphins, which improves self-esteem and mood.
Holistic medicine is gaining traction, and with good reason. By taking care of ourselves holistically, we can prevent physical, mental, and emotional problems.
Written by Jannice Belle for drelenaklimenko.com