What Is Holistic Health Care?
Holistic health care attempts to treat each patient as a (w)hole person rather than just parts of a person. We all have physical aspects, chemical aspects, emotional aspects, and lifestyle habits that make up who we are. Often, in standard health care, only one aspect of who we are is looked at to find reasons for why we feel ill. For example, someone who has knee pain may go to the doctor and get X-rays taken of the knee as a screening procedure to find reasons for the pain. If nothing is physically broken then often doctors throw up their hands in frustration and say "if nothing is broken, then I don't know what to do for you!"
Often many contributing factors are overlooked when it comes to pain and illness. Knee pain can have many overlooked physical factors such as muscle function that are not detected with standard testing procedures. Knee pain can also have chemical and sometimes emotional factors that contribute to pain. Knee pain can also have lifestyle factors that contribute to the pain. Also, knee pain can be a symptom of dysfunction in the ankle, hip, or low back! So often what is needed is a doctor well-trained in physical medicine but who is also trained in stepping back from the pain and looking at the whole picture, looking at all the various factors that can be contributing to pain or illness.
Another example of conventional medicine versus holistic health care is easily seen in the area of headaches. Unfortunately it is all too common for headaches to be "managed" with painkillers and no investigation done into what causes the headaches. Often patients have various imaging procedures done such as X-rays, MRI's, or cat scans but if these do not show anything "broken" or out of place in the brain, then pain-killers are used to manage the pain indefinitely. A holistic approach to headaches is to first verify that nothing is "broken" and then to progress with other investigations. Neck misalignment can cause headaches. Muscle spasms can cause headaches. Food allergies can cause headaches. Chronic infections can cause headaches. Toxic metals can cause headaches. Emotional stress, both active or buried emotions from the past, can cause headaches. Hormonal imbalances can cause headaches. When these various possible factors are identified and treated if necessary then headaches go away and there is no need for pain-killers.
Holistic healthcare is simply the most common-sense, natural, and fastest way to get better from illness or pain. Why? Because this approach covers all the bases and looks at many more possibilities than other health care providers do. Holistic healthcare physicians often go out of their way to use materials that are non-toxic so as to not cause harm to the patients. Holistic doctors investigate lifestyles and eating habits since these so profoundly affect our health. Holistic doctors may recommend exercises or make suggestions about sleep environments. Holistic doctors may ask about your living or work environments since these may affect us emotionally or even make us physically sick if the air quality is poor or mold is in the air. Holistic doctors often recommend books for their patients to read so that they feel more a part of the process.
Holistic health care also helps to prevent illness in the future. Why? Because when all aspects of health are investigated (diet, exercise, allergies, infections, emotions, muscles, bones, etc.) and balanced-- then people feel fantastic and it is very difficult to get sick! Holistic health care is provided by some chiropractors, dentists, medical doctors, naturopaths, and osteopaths. I recommend that everyone find a holistic doctor in their area and as a team begin to improve your health. I hope that I might be that doctor for many of you in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex!