For many people, it is easy to say how they feel about holistic medicine. Critics think of it as some quack form of new-age medicine, while supporters think of it as a natural, well-rounded approach to treatment. But even those who are familiar with the term may not actually be able to define it.  Supporters and critics alike would benefit from understanding what it really means, because you can’t practice, take part in, seek out, or intelligently oppose that which you can’t define.

    The textbook definition courtesy of TheFreeDictionary reports holistic care as “a system of comprehensive or total patient care that considers the physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual needs of the person; his or her response to illness; and the effect of the illness on the ability to meet self-care needs.” However, this is somewhat of a broad definition that may leave you questioning how exactly one gives or attains that care.

    Holistic care looks at the whole body and person, as the word holistic means looking at the whole of something. This doesn’t mean the whole body is taken care of at once, but that you understand all possible causes of a problem and can create a well-rounded solution. Common medical practice often looks at the obvious symptoms and their direct solutions through pharmaceutical paths.

    However, in many cases, the solution may be something as simple as sleep, diet, exercise, or even social interaction. Everyday aches and pains are easy to get rid of with painkillers but that treatment doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Health can take a downward spiral to the point where the original cause may be difficult to see, often masked by drug side effects. Holistic care considers and treats each individual situation, and works toward returning that person to their original healthy state.

    Holistic care doesn’t dismiss modern medicine, but instead seeks to provide longlasting solutions for people that can remove the issues at the real source, thereby ending the ailment for good.

Read the entire article here: Holistic Medicine: How to Define It