Holistic medicine represents a form of healing where the whole person is considered – mind, spirit, body and emotions – in the quest for the optimal wellness and health. According to such philosophy, an individual can gain optimal health by achieving the proper balance in life. This represents a primary goal of practice which holistic medicine supports.
The practitioners of holistic medicine strongly believe that an individual’s body is consisted of interdependent parts, and if one part of the body has improper functions, then other parts are going to be affected by the defect. To put it in other way, any imbalance present in our lives, such as spiritual, emotional or physical imbalance, will affect our health negatively.
It is also based on the belief that unconditional support and love is, if not, the most powerful healer which an individual could ever recieve. A person is the one who is the most responsible for his or her health, as well as the well-being. Other principles which contribute to the conceptual basis of holistic medicine include:
- The patient represents a person, but not a disease
- People have healing powers inside them
- The healing includes both the patient and the doctor, where all the aspects in individual’s lives are taken in consideration, in order to provide the right treatment
- It’s not important to alleviate the symptoms of the illnes, but to fix the cause of such condition, in order to make the treatment successful
Holistic medicine can be divided in various fields, where many therapies and techniques are used in order to treat the patient. The practitioners of such alternative approach include various methods, of which the most popular are colon therapy, metabolic therapy and orthomolecular medicine.
This method of holistic medicine represents a number of different alternative medical therapies, where the nonspecific toxins are removed from an individual’s colon and intestinal tract in general. The colon therapy, or cleansing, can be branded as colon hydrotherapy, or even as colonic irrigation.
Different forms of colon therapy use various tubes in order to inject the water into the colon, sometimes mixed with specific herbs or even other liquids. Such regimes use herbs, dietary fiber, laxatives or dietary supplements. The people who believe in the treatment and practice it, believe that the accumulation of putrefied feces is gathered around the walls of large intestine and that the accumulations have parasites, or even pathogenic gut flora, which may cause the symptoms of specific illnesses. This hypothesis comes from the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians who have used the similar method to promote health.
There are no scientific evidence which support the benefits of colon therapy, and it can be also considered dangerous as the process may damage the bowel or rectum. The association between certain enema preparations and electrolyte imbalances and hear attacks has been made. If the equipment is not used properly, the infection or damage to the bowel can happen.
The followers of metabolic therapy believe that every individual has unique metabolism, where certain nutrients appropriate for one person may not be appropriate for the other and could be considerable for the third. The therapy uses the visible symptoms for determining the cause of the illness, such as eyes, skin and other body parts. Assessing an individual’s metabolism this way enables the categorization of metabolic types of disease. Today’s market presents various diet plans made according to the metabolic therapy approach, even though the effectiveness and validity of such plans are not yet establish fully.
It represents a conjoined for of both alternative and complementary medicine, where the practitioners maintain the patient’s health through different nutritional supplementation and is based on fact that deficiency of certain supplements brings organism to illness. The correction of organism’s imbalance, based on the biochemistry of individual, is performed by the supplementation of natural substances, such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and various trace elements. It’s not supported by the general scientific public yet.
It could be also referred as megavitamin therapy, mainly because the practice of such treatment seeks the use of vitamins and minerals in doses which are many times higher than the recommended doses for the dietary intake. The orthomolecular practitioners can incorporate other styles of treatment in the approach, including the dietary restriction, megadoses of nutrients which do not belong in vitamin group, or even mainstream drugs used in pharmacy practice.
When it comes to scientific studies, methods of holistic medicine and holistic medicine itself do not have the appropriate evidence that the treatment are right for the patient and that the mechanism of action is according to the result that we are expecting. Certain scientific studies have shown that holistic medicine can be harmful to the organism if the treatments are not performed correctly. Therefore, certain caution should be taken in consideration when practicing holistic medicine, or when using it as a treatment for an individual.
It is advised that holistic medicine shouldn’t be used solely when treating a patient, but in combination with contemporary medicine, in order to give the best result for the patient’s health. The practice of holistic medicine solely can lead to serious injuries of a patient and could even lead to death if the combined approach is not taken in consideration. Before starting a holistic treatment, or any other treatment of alternative medicine, you should consult a health professional for the advantages and flaws which certain treatments may have when used in such occasions.