APPROACHING YOUR HEALTH THE HOLISTIC WAY
Often, we approach diseases, illnesses, and other afflictions as isolated health problems disconnected from a patient’s overall health. A unique attitude to health is the holistic method that instead looks at the whole person in relation to his or her symptoms and environment. A holistic approach to health considers the mind and all parts of the body as interconnected and dynamically related.
The holistic path seeks to understand the causes of various health problems rather than just addressing their effects. When possible, the holistic perspective locates and addresses underlying origins of a health concern (like diet, sleep, stress or mood problems) before prescribing a quick but temporary remedy such as pharmaceuticals. People often assume holistic approaches to health are an “alternative” to standard medicine. However, holistic methods are not necessarily opposed to traditional practices. Instead, many doctors use a holistic avenue to supplement to traditional medicine.
A holistic approach does not look at health as simply the presence or absence of disease. Rather, it appreciates health as a dynamic process. Even in times of “healthiness,” those practicing a holistic attitude to health can continue to be conscious of what he or she eats and how he or she feels. Consistent attention to diet, nutrition, and exercise can result in fewer hospital visits. In a holistic approach to health, there is always room for improvement.
One important aspect of holistic health is learning how the body and mind interact with each another. Holistic analysis considers the whole experience rather than just the symptoms. For instance, a patient experiencing a headache and nausea may be suffering these symptoms due to dehydration after a long run or from nervousness before a professional meeting. Individuals can develop the same physical symptoms although the antecedent may be a mental factor.
This example is an obvious one, but our mental state may affect our health and healing in other less noticeable ways. Strengthening your outlook, positivity and attitude can better help your overall health and prevent some health-related issues. Correspondingly, working on your physical health also improves your mood and mental state. Even though exercise is strenuous, think about how great you felt after your last good workout.
Doctors who take a holistic approach look beyond pain or symptoms to understand the patient’s environment. Holistic doctors ask questions and create a dialogue to uncover underlying causes. These questions may include:
- Why has the patient decided to come in for a consultation?
- According to the patient, what is the problem?
- What is the patient’s biggest concern about the problem?
- What would the patient like to get out of the consultation?
Individuals can also use the holistic approach to examine hidden sources of infirmity and see how they affect symptoms. By means of example, someone suffering from indoor allergies can invest in an air filter rather than taking allergy medications to stop the problem at its environmental source.