When you are home from work with a cold, you have several options. You can use home remedies and over the counter medications to treat the symptoms that your body already has, like sinus congestion, a cough, and a headache. You might opt to use a humidifier to keep the membranes in your sinus cavity moist, or you might take some ibuprofen to help with the headache. How much time do you spend thinking about what habits you might cultivate going forward to decrease the chance you’ll get another cold next month?
What Is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is all about combining different approaches to healthcare, including Western and alternative practices. Instead of merely considering physical factors, it takes spiritual and mental factors into account to treat the whole person. Factors like stress, basic needs, and living conditions are all considered.
How Is that Different from Western Medicine?
Timing of intervention comes into play too. Often, Western medicine focuses on remedying a problem that already exists. Alternative methods typically place more of a focus on preventative care, so that problems are less likely to occur in the first place. For example, incorporating foods with extra vitamin C into your diet can help bolster your immune system during cold season and increase your chances of staying healthy.
The Value of Western Medicine
This is not to say that Western medicine is bad. Visiting a family medical clinic when you are sick is a comfort; you know that there are clinicians there who can help you. Scientific advances in medicine make it possible to treat conditions with remedies that were never even fathomed one hundred years ago.
Potential of Holistic Healthcare
The unlocked potential lies in combining all of the technological advancements of Western medicine with the preventative expertise of alternative medicine to create solid, wrap-around, holistic healthcare. Integrative medicine “cherry picks” the very best of all medical philosophies. Both well and sick patients would have at least double the amount of tools at their disposal to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
Truly, holistic medicine as a combination of Western philosophy and alternatives means taking advantage of all the medical advancements available in modern society. By honoring all different kinds of approaches, people of all backgrounds and experiences would be able to feel secure receiving healthcare, and would have access to a variety of treatment options that are currently off-limits.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends Rocky Mountain Urgent Care for those interested in family medicine. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;