A Glimpse Into The Holistic Approach To Medicine
If you’ve been listening to the medical community intermittently recently, you may have heard the word “holistic” dropped every so often. You might have heard it, but you may not have much of an idea of what it means and dismissed it as medical jargon. The term describes an approach of medicine that performs the usual task of diagnosing and treating a problem but spreads out to encompass other aspects of the patient. Essentially, the “holistic approach” hopes not only to improve physical health but also to bring a balance between the body, mind, and spirit to improve health in the long term. Holistic medicine also touches on aspects such as lifestyle and social interactions. This medical philosophy can be applied to everything from pain relief to muscle training, physical training, and social skills.
The philosophy itself is neither new nor Western in origin. Traditional Chinese Medicine, the offshoot systems in Japan and Korea, and the Indian Ayur Veda system are both holistic in approach. Essentially, both systems focus on correcting the physical and mental imbalances that cause problems in both the body and mind. This stands in contrast to Western medicine, where problems are taken as separate considerations from the body’s general state. For example, while a Western doctor who abides by Western medical philosophy might recommend mild doses of Tramadol for pain relief, a TCM practitioner or someone who believes in the holistic approach might be more inclined to ask the patient about things like his emotions or personal problems. This is done because it is believed that the body’s negative responses can reflect imbalances of the mind or spirit.
The main focus of most holistic medical systems, regardless of their country of origin, is to return the body to a state of balance. The body is generally viewed as a combination of different parts and elements, which come together harmoniously when a person is in poor health. An imbalance occurs when one of those aspects becomes more significant than the others, which is attributed to a patient’s physical ailment. For example, if part A and part B are in equal amounts, then they counter each other and are in balance. However, if there is too much part B, it may cause pain in the joints or limbs. In such a case, the best way to bring pain relief would be to restore the balance between part A and B, either by reducing part B to part A’s level or making part A equal to part B.
The term “holistic” has been used to describe several alternative medicine and health systems, such as the TCM above and Ayur Veda. It has alsoalso hasribedre modern systems focusingfocusral cures and treatments. More recently, some doctors with Western training are employing the holistic approach in their diagnosis and treatment procedures, which is an approach welcomed among Western medicine practitioners in the Far East. Once seen as conflicting, this combination of two philosophies s not quite common but is reportedly starting to catch on in Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan.