Holistic, or “wholistic”, healing is distinguished by its consideration of all parts of the individual – not just the obvioius material and physical aspects of a person – when dealing with life challenges such as illness.
Holistic healing modalities are intended to be used in conjunction with, and are not a replacement for, allopathic medicine (also known as modern Western Medicine).
There are many other terms for holistic healing that mean the same thing; a few of these include:
- Alternative Health
- Complementary Health
- Complementary Medicine
- Alternative Medicine
- Traditional Eastern Medicine
- Complementary Alternative Medicine
- Integrative Medicine
All aspects of a person (mind, body, spirit, emotion, environment, etc.) are considered when an holistic treatment is sought. The holistic healer looks at the “whole person” and does not generally work directly with symptoms in isolation like a medical doctor.
There are many different ways of approaching holistic healing, but all the different alternative medicine and complementary health modalities have certain things in common. For one, most holistic health techniques include a focus on lifestyle, particularly diet, sleep, and exercise habits.
What distinguished holistic healing (alternative medicine) from regular health care?
Many people who are familiar only with traditional medicine are surprised when they go to an alternative medicine doctor or specialist and are asked many questions about their lifestyle that seem to have nothing to do with their health. For example, homeopaths usually want to know whether you prefer hot or cold food and drinks, and whether you prefer spciy or bland food. Holistic healing and complementary medicine treat the whole person, so no aspect of your life is deemed irrelevant or unconnected. Don’t expect to go see an alternative medicine or complementary medicine doctor and be in and out of the office in 5 minutes with a prescription – to do holistic healing right it takes time, so expect to be there for a while talking to your complementary or alternative medicine specialist!
Other examples of popular holistic healing, alternative medicine, and complementary medicine are:
- raw foods diets
- spiritual counseling
- herbal remedies
- naturopathic therapy
- massage and bodywork
- traditional Chinese medicine
Holistic health/holistic healing have been shown effective in both clinical trials and through overwhelming anecdotal evidence. There is a reason that spending on complementary and alternative medicine has been skyrocketing the last several years – holistic health works!
Why turn to holistic healing/complementary medicine?
It is extremely rare that people in the modern industrialized world turn immediately to holistic healing professionals and complementary alternative medicine doctors immediately when they have a problem. Nearly always, people turn to holistic healing and alternative medicine because traditional allopathic (Western) medicine has failed them. If allopathic medicine always fixed the problem, nobody would ever need holistic healing modalisties.
But, alas, modern medicine is far from perfect. Holistic healing and alternative medicine are particularly effective at dealing with chronic “lifestyle diseases” such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Complementary medicine, with its holistic healing focus on the whole individual, is often able to make progress with people who had no success with drugs or surgeries.
Brent Phillips only turned to holistic healing after years of exploring the best western medicine doctors and therapists, with no success. Alternative medicine seemed to offer hope where there was none before – holistic health modalities like homeopathy, osteopathy, and Chinese medicine seemed a better fit for his problems than traditional drugs and surgeries.
Some lucky few of us get involved with holistic health and alternative medicine not because they have to, but because they recognize the incredible power and opportunity it represents…but more often than not, even the best of us were dragged into holistic healing kicking and screaming.
Becoming a Holistic Healing Practitioner
Many people, including Brent, have found amazing new careers in holistic healing. Many alternative medicine modalities are easy to learn – follow your heart, and make it happen!