Integrative medicine is often considered holistic medicine.
Integrative medicine is often considered holistic medicine.

Integrative medicine is often considered holistic medicine. It claims to blend the conventional and complementary treatment approach when treating the patient. It is prudent to note that holistic medicine uses many approaches, which have not been studied in detail. There have been several instances where the individuals, who sought holistic medicine, have suffered more harm than good.

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that believes diseases occur when the body, mind, spirit, and emotions are not in equilibrium. According to the American Holistic Health Association, practitioners must consider the following points during diagnosis and treatments:

  • Physical factors
  • Nutritional factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Emotional factors
  • Spiritual factors
  • Lifestyle factors

How is holistic medicine different from alternative medicine?

Holistic medicine is different from alternative medicines in the following ways:

  • It promotes the overall body wellness over curing a specific symptom.
  • Treats the person rather than a specific illness or injury.
  • They consider mind-body-spirit as one entity.
  • Disharmony to mind, body, or spirit may cause a disease or injury.
  • It is a way of life.

Holistic medicine may be used complementarily to conventional medicines and not as the sole treatment.

What are the principles of holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine is based on the belief that unconditional love and support would heal all illnesses and injuries. It also emphasizes that the person is ultimately responsible for their health and wellbeing. Other principles of holistic medicine include the following:

  • All people have innate healing power.
  • A patient is a person, not a disease.
  • Treatment aims at fixing the cause of the condition and not just reducing symptoms.
  • Holistic practitioners work in close association with the patient to understand them better.
  • Holistic management includes recommendations for lifestyle, self-care, and avoiding conventional medicines and procedures when possible.

What are the different types of treatments involved in holistic medicine?

Holistic practitioners involve utilizing a variety of treatment techniques to help patients attain wellbeing and optimal health. The holistic approaches to treatment include:

Herbal medicine

  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Manual medicine
  • Biomolecular therapies
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Naturopathy

Patients are educated on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellbeing. Some of the lifestyle changes include:

  • Changing diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Psychotherapy
  • Relationship and spiritual counseling

Sometimes western medications and surgical procedures may also be employed by the practitioners.


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What are the benefits of holistic medicine?

There are several benefits of holistic medicine due to its approach to the management of disease, which includes:

  • It claims to avoid the side-effects of many medications.
  • It claims to avoid relapse because holistic medicine works to find out the root cause.
  • It is often a whole lifestyle change and not a quick fix.
  • It claims to choose the noninvasive methods.
  • More consultation time with the practitioners.
  • It offers people an avenue to take more control of their health and wellness.
  • It improves the patient’s flow of life force energy.
  • It is patient-centric.

What should you keep in mind when choosing a holistic provider?

It must be noted that natural remedies do not always mean “safe.” Practices, such as acupuncture, have been known to cause infections if not done properly. The herbal medicines often contain heavy metals, which may damage the kidneys, the liver, and the heart. Holistic medicine cannot replace conventional medicine in cases of cancer or chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

In cases of children who suffer from autism, dyslexia, speech therapy, and physiotherapy are better alternatives to homeopathy.

Here are some tips to follow before approaching a holistic practitioner:

  • Choose a practitioner who is ready to spend enough time with you to understand you better.
  • Consult a practitioner who prefers to ask you the right questions to get to know you better.
  • Consider a practitioner who makes you feel comfortable.
  • Do your research before consulting a practitioner. Do not just consult any random health care provider.
  • Always consult a board-certified holistic medical practitioner.
  • You can visit the American Holistic Medical Association website to find out the holistic practitioner in your area.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/20/2021
WebMD. What Is Holistic Medicine?

Wang C. What Is Holistic Medicine? Acupuncture and Massage College.