Let’s talk about the difference between so called “holistic” based medicine and our modern conventional method of medical practice.
Drugs and surgery are necessary in many cases especially in trauma, over whelming infection or as a last resort when all else has failed. Praise modern medicine.
Why ever bother with alternatives ? It boils down to what kind of health do you want.
The conventional doctor gives medication to eliminate discomfort fast as possible and allow the patient to continue their life choices as much as possible without much regard to consequences.
The holistic minded doctor or patient asks “why is this symptom here?” and “what is the body saying?” and tries to get a healing rather than simply making the symptoms go away as fast as possible without any support for the body. Most doctors today do not even give patients any nutritional support. I see cookies in the cancer doctor’s waiting rooms !! This feeds cancer and all doctors know this, they just say it does not matter.
The holistic minded person acknowledges that indeed what you put in and on your body does matter. Movement and exercise do matter.
Many folks think that if you are “holistic” this means you never use modern drugs or surgery. Holistic choices are not so much based on whether or not you are going to use a drug, an herb, chiropractic, acupuncture etc., but more on the meaning of the words “health” or “wellness.”
There is no really good definition of health in our medical paradigm currently. It is commonly considered that you are healthy if you are free of symptoms. By that definition we have people and pets walking about on various medications that allow them to function and feel less discomfort in their daily lives and the people and their doctors consider them to be healthy.
Modern medicine has focused on the removal of symptoms that are annoying without making any real changes in the patient’s behaviors. The idea is you take a pill to make your discomfort lessen and then continue right along in what you were doing ,never mind that the behavior could be what gave you the discomfort in the first place.
The extreme result of that working definition of health is the corpse because that body is the ultimate in being free of symptoms.
The holistic paradigm seeks to aid the body to heal itself. The definition of health includes wellness often described as being able to function optimally, free of discomfort, free of medications. The reason the word “wholistic” was originally coined was to indicate that the patient’s entire whole being is taken in to account when prescribing.
This means their daily diet and other behaviors, lifestyle, spiritual and emotional and mental attitudes are taken in to account, hence “wholistic” or “holistic.” The underlying premise is that these bodies are intrinsically able to maintain wellness and function when given the needed tools to do so.
I will give you an example. A pet scratches till it bleeds. They get taken to a vet who is more holistically inclined and the pet’s lifestyle is assessed, everything that goes in its mouth or on its body is evaluated, what is used in the home can be discussed, number of vaccines and medications on board, and more. It will be recommended that vaccines are lessened or eliminated. Many factors will be taken in to account before a treatment plan is undertaken. Drugs will be avoided if at all possible and supplements to aid the being to heal will be given. This is all individually specific for the particular patient.
There is no standard treatment given to every pet who exhibits the symptom of scratching till it bleeds even if the cause is the same, such as fleas or a pollen allergy.
Another pet with the same complaint gets taken for conventional care. The pet will continue getting vaccinated, perhaps continue the same diet or get another commercial diet. It will receive standard medications of one sort or another but no specific nutritional or herbal support for that particular patient.
The end result is that one pet is on a road to hopefully recover from the underlying cause of the symptom and the other (depending on the cause) may be on medications for life with no hope of becoming well or healthy in the holistic sense of the word. But he may be free of symptoms.
The trouble is that when we take a pill to stop a symptom, that pill can cause a negative effect (so called “side effect”) and the diseased state of the body remains merely suppressed by the pill.
That is why I observe so many humans who take a drug for this and another drug for that as the body continues to struggle to function without getting what it truly needs. For long comfortable life we need to learn what our bodies need and then provide it.
It does require taking personal responsibility for our health as the first step.