When most people hear “holistic health,” they might think it means a scientifically unproven alternative medicine or an Eastern-inspired health trend.
The main things to know about holistic health are:
- It’s a more comprehensive and personalized approach to health that integrates Eastern and Western medicines.
- It takes a proactive approach to health, focusing on wellness and prevention rather than just treating diseases.
- It incorporates therapies that are scientifically proven effective to benefit your physical, mental, spiritual needs.
How Holistic Health Treats the Whole You
Holistic medicine is rooted in the understanding that what affects your physical health also affects your mental health, and vice versa. By taking care of your mental health, your physical health will also benefit. Likewise, what affects your physical health will have a direct effect on your spiritual well-being.
Feeling stress is an excellent example. Stress triggers physical symptoms, including headaches, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and muscle pain. Likewise, if you’re physically unwell, anxiety or depression also frequently occur.
Another great example is how your relationships can elevate your mental and physical health. Studies prove close friendships can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve outcomes for people being treated for cancer.
Doctors who incorporate a holistic approach to health ask you about more than just your symptoms. They learn about you, your overall health, and your lifestyle. By doing so, they can make personalized recommendations custom-tailored to improve your wellness.
Holistic Care in Practice
Many holistic care providers use a variety of clinically proven therapies to help their patients. Holistic practitioners commonly recommend dietary changes, exercise plans, psychological and spiritual counseling, acupuncture, massage, and yoga. Even surgery and pharmaceuticals are part of a holistic approach to health.
If a patient is experiencing chronic pain, the provider might start by asking about their diet or discuss how certain foods contribute to inflammation. Frequently, the provider will inquire if the patient is feeling stress, anxiety, or depression. If the patient answers yes to any of these, they might recommend a therapist. If these options don’t solve the problem, the practitioner might prescribe medications or recommend surgery, but they’ll also recommend that the patient gets more exercise to increase their endorphins to aid recovery. They might also recommend acupuncture to help with nerve pain, massage for sore muscles, or even mindful meditation to help with pain management and stress relief.
A Total Health Approach to Wellness
Prioritizing self-care can seem overwhelming and difficult. Frequently, we think what we “want to do” and “should do” are two different things.
Holistic health empowers you to recognize that they’re actually one and the same. Making better, more informed choices for your body will benefit your mood and energy levels. Best of all, many holistic approaches don’t endorse radical, overnight changes. They give you the room to determine which changes would make the greatest impact on your health – and are the most achievable. They help you create your wellness goals and the map to succeed.
ASBA has the benefits to help you maintain peace of mind and a healthy body. Schedule a FREE Benefits Review today.