A doctor of holistic medicine is a doctor that practices any or all of the various types of holistic medicine. Holistic medicine is based on the belief that people have within themselves a power to heal. It approaches healing by addressing every aspect of a person’s life, rather than focusing on just the symptoms.
A doctor of holistic medicine will look for the cause of a condition and aim to cure the problem at the root. The doctor will work with the patient and together, as a team, they will attempt to reach a solution. Various elements of a patient’s life that a holistic doctor may look into include stress, diet, sleep habits, spirituality and emotional stability.
Some skills a holistic doctor may possess include educating patients on lifestyle changes, self-care, dietary advice or appropriate exercise. Therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homoeopathy, massage and naturopathy are practised by holistic doctors. Some holistic doctors also practice traditional western medicine and may use a combination of therapies to find a cure. Correct nutrition and exercise are two of the most important elements in any health diagnosis and are scrutinized by both holistic and traditional doctors alike.
When researching a condition such as back pain, a holistic doctor may try one or more of these treatments:
– massage for muscular tension
– a relaxation program to alleviate stress.
– if the patient spends long hours working at a desk, he may suggest a different chair
– referral to a physiotherapist if prior back injury exists
– referral to a psychologist if the problem is deemed to be related to anxiety or depression
Holistic medicine sees a person as being made up of four main parts – physical, psychological, social and spiritual. To truly understand a person’s well-being, each part must be properly investigated and then treated as one whole system.
While a holistic doctor may treat symptoms on occasion, more time is spent examining the underlying causes of the symptoms. The doctor will look into a patient’s past, present and even future, by way of discovering the patient’s outlook and intentions. Consultations can often reveal traumatic past experiences, domestic violence at home, or simply disturbing dreams as a result of stress. All elements must be properly scrutinized in order to locate or to rule out any mitigating factors.
In an initial consultation, these are some of the questions a holistic doctor may pose:
What are the patient’s fears?
Why did the patient choose a holistic approach?
What does the patient hope to achieve from the treatment?What Is A Doctor Of Holistic Medicine
What does the patient believe the problem is?
It is a common misconception that holistic medicine is ‘complementary’ or ‘alternative’. When performed correctly, the treatments provided by holistic medicine should alone be sufficient in relieving an ailment. In the event that the holistic doctor is unable to completely treat the ailment, they will be able to make informed suggestions for a referral.
In addition to the more common procedures, holistic doctors have been known to practice less conventional treatments such as meditation, yoga, reiki and even prayer. In some instances, doctors will be supported by holistic nurses.