Natural Options for Wellness:
The majority of adult Americans rely on conventional medicine every day to keep them healthy and functional. This care is delivered by medical professionals with initials like M.D., A.P.R.N., and P.A. after their names and while conventional medicine is valid and important, holistic medicine is meant to help keep people from getting sick or alleviate symptoms of illness in a more natural way.
If conventional medicine is the entree, holistic medicine is the side dish, appetizer, and dessert. Holistic medicine is a complement to modern medicine; it meets our overall wellness needs, including physical, spiritual, social, and emotional ones. Holistic medicine isn’t new; it was first popularized in the mid-twentieth century, and many things we already do for our health can be classified under the umbrella term “holistic wellness”: exercise, eating right, taking supplements, massage therapy, meditation, and more. You can learn more about the concept by joining a holistic wellness club in Kansas City.
Holistic Wellness Versus Conventional Approach
Let’s take a look at a few examples of common ailments and identify their holistic wellness versus conventional health approach, and compare and contrast them.
First, let’s consider the headache. Nearly everyone has an occasional headache. Barring a headache disorder or acute illness, the main treatment a physician might recommend for headaches is to take a dosage of over-the-counter pain relief pills, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. With a holistic medicine approach, a practitioner might suggest performing stretching exercises to help relieve bodily tension that may be causing the headache. Similarly, massage therapy with a focus on the shoulders, neck, and scalp might relieve a headache without medication.
Next, let’s consider back pain. Especially as we age, back pain is quite common. Sometimes the pain is in the muscle, tendon, or within our spinal column. Like with a headache, a conventional medical provider will suggest an over-the-counter medication or will prescribe something formulated specifically for degenerative arthritis, for example, to help ease the pain. A holistic medicine practitioner won’t ignore the fact that something like degenerative arthritis likely requires medical intervention, but they will suggest complementary treatments, like chiropractic care or practicing yoga at a health and wellness club. Energy healing is another option for pain relief. Energy healing comes in many forms, and some people claim it successfully relieved their stress or physical pain. One such energy healing practice, Reiki, works on your personal energy field to promote wellness.
Now, let’s consider nausea. People who are undergoing chemotherapy or who have gestational illnesses may feel nauseated on a regular basis. Certain prescription medications can help to treat nausea and vomiting, but as with any medication, it can have additional side effects that require yet another prescription to alleviate. A more holistic approach might be using natural remedies to ease nausea, such as ginger root or peppermint. Ingesting these, or using essential oil in a diffuser, can help settle gurgling stomachs. Acupuncture and herbalism are other options for finding nausea relief.
Finally, let’s consider minor mental health issues. Situational depression or situational anxiety, both of which resolve in time and are not considered chronic, can be relieved with talk therapy and antidepressants. Of course, learning how to change your life and meet your goals can help, too! A life coach is a holistic wellness practitioner who can guide you through obstacles to help you reach the goals you set for yourself, whether they’re professional or personal. A life coach can’t provide traditional mental health therapy, but they can hold you accountable so you find success as you define it. Life coaches can also teach you skills you can continue to implement throughout your life, and you may potentially avoid more bouts of situational depression or anxiety as a result!
The Bottom Line
Modern medicine treats illnesses as they arise, while a naturopathic or holistic approach emphasizes prevention and optimizing your health through a wholesome diet, exercise, and natural approaches to wellness. Holistic medicine complements your doctor’s treatments on your journey to overall good health.
Before trying any holistic medicine practice, check with your medical doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough to partake – specifically practices like chiropractic care, an exercise routine, and taking herbal supplements. Holistic practices like life coaching and energy healing are unlikely to interfere with your physician’s treatments.