It is believed in holistic medicine that the body is composed of several interdependent parts. Failure of one part to work properly, does not affect that part alone, but the whole body. Therefore, an imbalance in an aspect of life such as the spiritual, physical, or emotional leads to negative effect on overall health.
Practitioners apply treatment methods from alternative as well as conventional medicine to treat patients. To clarify this, when someone with headaches goes to a practitioner, they may be given conventional medications, but they may also be examined in different areas. The practitioner may need to examine factors like spiritual practices, stress, and sleep and diet habits in an attempt to establish the real cause of the headaches.
It is highly believed that isolated problems do not occur in the body. Diseases are triggered by causes and the diseases trigger other problems causing a cascading effect. As such, in order to find a permanent solution to a health problem, underlying causes must be fixed. With that in mind, the patient with migraines may need to change their ways of life to prevent future recurrences of the problem.
Besides the belief that the body is formed of interdependent parts, there are many other beliefs in this practice. For instance, it is believed that unconditional love is the most powerful healers. An individual is thus responsible for their own well-being and health. Other foundational principles are people hold inborn healing powers, patients are people and not diseases, and healing is a team approach. Additionally, it is believed that true healing comes from fixing what causes the illness and not simply alleviating presenting symptoms.
Treatment of patients is done using a wide range of techniques. Treatment entails the practitioner availing the patient with an opportunity to take responsibility of their health. Treatment techniques can be placed in three major categories. The categories are complementary and alternative therapies, western medications, and patient education.
Patient education usually involves changes of lifestyle and self-care so as to promote personal well-being. The changes may be done in various aspects of life including relationships, diet, exercise, spiritual counseling, and psychotherapy among many others. Western methods usually involve medications and surgical procedures.
There are many complementary and alternative therapies employed. They include naturopathy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and homeopathy. Visiting a practitioner in this field is like visiting any conventional doctor. All procedures are governed by standards and practitioners observe a code of ethics in all the work they do when treating patients.
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