Integrative Holistic Medicine : Need of Hour
Today for treating acute medical problems and trauma, conventional allopathic medicine has evolved a very efficient system. However, 85 percent of our health-care costs are paid for the management of chronic and degenerative diseases. The conventional approach to chronic illness has utilized techniques that attempt to intervene in the degenerative process, relying heavily on drugs and surgery, while the importance of lifestyle and the mental, emotional, social and environmental aspects of human experience have attracted only minimal attention. Energy medicine and spiritual experience and their relationship to healing have received even less emphasis.
Studies during the last few years have repeatedly confirmed the intense interest of people in the areas encompassed by Integrative Holistic medicine. Government agencies, legislatures, medical educators and insurance carriers are attempting to respond to the challenges precipitated by this interest.
Integrative Holistic Medicine is the emerging medical specialty that incorporates the art and science of (1) caring for the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – to treat and prevent disease; and, (2) empowering patients to create a condition of optimal health far beyond merely the absence of illness. Both inside and outside the medical profession, this concept of medicine of the whole person is gathering increasing support. The holistic approach integrates many disciplines and modalities, including physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, exercise, environment, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, social relationships, manual medicine, herbs, yoga, Ayurveda, naturopathy, Amroli, homeopathy, energy medicine, acupuncture, ethnomedical disciplines, meditation, prayer and biofeedback.
Holistic medicine is based on the core belief that unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer. At its essence, the practice of holistic medicine embraces a spirit of interdisciplinary and physician patient cooperation; balances the mitigation of causes with relief of symptoms; integrates conventional and complementary therapies; and facilitates the experience of being fully alive.
The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and complementary therapies to promote optimal health, and prevent and treat disease by addressing contributing factors. In practice, this means that each person is seen as a unique individual, rather than an example of a particular disease. Disease is understood to be the result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental imbalance. Healing, therefore, takes place naturally when these aspects of life are brought into proper balance. The role of the practitioner is as guide, mentor and role model; the patient must do the work – changing lifestyle, beliefs and old habits in order to facilitate healing. All appropriate methods may be used, from medication to meditation.
Integrative holistic medicine is a system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health. It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, and spiritual and lifestyle values. It encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery if no safe alternative exists. Holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility for personal efforts to achieve balance and well being.