Holistic health care involves treating the entire patient — mind, body, and spirit. A visit to such a practitioner won’t result in a 10-minute consultation. Your provider will spend an hour or more reviewing everything from your diet to your exercise regime.
As a result, you’ll focus on improving multiple aspects of wellness, from caring for your mind to eating more plant-based foods. You’ll also reap many perks. Here are five of the benefits of holistic health.
1. Overcome Addiction
Millions of Americans struggle with addiction. Nearly 20% of Americans have used illicit drugs at least once, and over 700,000 people have died of overdoses since 2000. Countless more find their careers and home lives shattered.
People who love those who struggle with addiction often grow frustrated with the repeated cycles of relapse that they interpret as breaking their commitment to getting well. However, this behavior doesn’t reflect a lack of willpower or desire for genuine change. Addiction is a chronically relapsing disease with multiple underlying causes.
Holistic medicine helps by addressing many underlying conflicts and traumas that cause people to bury their pain in drugs or alcohol. It handles much more than physical aches and pains — indeed, it understands how mental anguish can often lead to physiological distress.
Unlike traditional psychotherapy, holistic medicine uses multiple modalities in treating addiction. Part of the recovery process might entail talk therapy. Another aspect may involve yoga or other movement therapy to help survivors of sexual assault reconnect with their physical selves instead of dissociating or seeking solace in drugs or alcohol.
Holistic medicine also looks beyond biology alone when addressing disorders like anxiety and depression. Although they may use conventional treatments like prescriptions, they also evaluate things like diet and sleep habits, stress and personal problems, and spiritual practices.
For example, one aspect of holistic medicinal treatment might entail evaluating a patient’s support system. Under the guidance of a trained therapist, participants identify those who act as positive influences and explore ways to grow those relationships. Part of their treatment might involve participating in social activities that help them grow their network.
Their treatment plan may also involve a thorough nutritional analysis. For example, some patients show a remarkable recovery after supplementing with magnesium to address an underlying deficiency. Nature may provide the best antidepressant of all in the form of nuts and seeds in some cases.
Holistic medicine is a godsend for many chronic pain patients. While conventional medicine often entails little more than prescribing painkillers, this treatment modality embraces lasting lifestyle changes that maximize total health while alleviating the agony of conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Nutrition plays an important role, as food allergies and intolerances can cause widespread and sometimes mysterious symptoms. Patients may undergo an elimination diet to determine which substances are safe to consume and which cause problems. While the process takes considerable time, some patients experience substantial relief from inflammation after discovering a sensitivity.
Movement likewise plays a critical role in easing the pain of chronic conditions. Patients may work with a trained physical therapist to find exercises that don’t aggravate their disorders. For example, those with arthritis or fibromyalgia might take to aquatic workouts to decrease the impact on their joints.
4. Practice True Preventative Medicine
Holistic medicine offers the ultimate in preventative care by focusing on the entire person — mind, body, and spirit. Many of its treatment modalities benefit overall health and stave off various health conditions.
For example, managing your diet to reduce or eliminate processed food and incorporate more plant-based meals will help you lose weight and regulate your blood sugar. This act alone reduces your chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Roughly 88 million American adults already live with a prediabetic condition, putting them at increased risk of complications such as kidney and heart disease.
Likewise, holistic medicine’s incorporation of mental health helps prevent some of the faulty decision-making that leads to maladaptive behavior. Recognizing the triggers that drive compulsive overeating can create a ripple effect of positive health outcomes, such as improved self-esteem and lower body weight.
5. Enjoy Improved Energy and Vitality
Finally, holistic medicine addresses the lifestyle factors that sap so many people of the energy and vitality they need to get the most out of each day. It doesn’t overlook anything that could exhaust someone, leaving them drained.
Holistic medicine can help you get to the underlying cause of any low-key distress or dissatisfaction you might feel in life. A conventional doctor might prescribe a sleeping pill if you report that you have insomnia. A holistic practitioner will ask you about your bedroom setup to determine if artificial lights or other sensory factors prevent you from getting a full night’s sleep. They may ask you to mindfully explore how triggers like loneliness keep you awake and how to cope.
Embrace the Multiple Benefits of Holistic Health
Holistic health has multiple benefits. Why not locate a practitioner today and start your journey to improved well-being?