I was doing some thinking (I tend to do that) – and while I was always raised with an inclination towards natural and holistic medicine, I never realized there were oceans of knowledge and different fields within the world of natural medicine. As a kid I got to know the basics of acute homeopathy – using Echinacea and belladonna for fevers and colds but other than that – I really didn’t know much. In recent years my experience has expanded and I was wonderfully overwhelmed (and quite excited) that there is literally a whole WORLD of natural medicine out there!
The cool thing was that everything I knew and was learning – I got to share with my hubby. The first time I took my hubby (then boyfriend) to my kensiologist – you should have seen his face and jaw DROP when he saw what simple muscle testing could do. Mostly, it was exhilarating to see his eyes open up to a world he never experienced before. So, the other day I was doing some thinking and I decided it was time I write a small introduction for my awesome readers to help understand natural medicine a bit more. There’s a lot out there and it can get confusing. So here goes!
What is this Term “Holistic” ?
Anytime a doctor of a medical system is called “holistic” it refers to the care of the WHOLE person instead of just treating the specific symptoms or organs. Holistic medicine treats the mind as well as the body. This style of treatment looks at an individual’s overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing before recommending treatment. Most importantly, the practitioner will look for the CAUSE of the illness. A Holistic doctor or healer will also attempt to PREVENT illness by placing a greater emphasis on optimizing health. The techniques they use are non-invasive.
The Band-Aid Method:
On one of my health forums, a woman asked if anyone could suggest any herbs or supplements that could help cure her ailment (I don’t remember what the ailment was). There were many herbs that could help her specific issue, but one person responded – saying the following.
“Herbs don’t cure anything. It is the BODY that heals itself. If the body is balanced, and functioning at its optimum – then with the help of herbs, the ailment will be healed.”
Believe it or not, there is LITTLE difference between healing an ailment, and suppressing the symptoms. Why? JUST because the symptoms seem to have disappeared does NOT mean the underlying issue has been truly healed.
Case in point:
~ How many children get strep throat – take antibiotics, but get strep throat AGAIN and AGAIN?
~ How many children get ear infections time and time again?
~ How many women get UTI’s time and time again?
~ How many people have digestion issues that never seem go away no matter what they take?
~ How often do we take one round of Antibiotics – but then the next time around, we need a stronger dose?
Allopathic treatments (pharmaceutical drugs) do NOT heal the underlying cause of whatever it is. Sure, you may no longer have the fever, the illness, the coughing, sneezing – or whatever – but the “cause” was not addressed, and the issue may come back.
This is where I see the greatest difference between using conventional medicines and holistic treatments. When we treat the body as a whole, we are able to find where the cause is coming from, and where the deficiency lies.
Here’s a fun example:
I recently learned that many skin conditions, while treated topically with creams (or even internally) – are really a systemic issue originating from weak Kidneys. If our kidneys aren’t working at peak performance, then our skin takes over as an “elimination organ” – and then comes skin problems such as eczema, acne, fungus… and all kinds of fun stuff.
So sure, the creams and ointments might help for a little while – but are we fixing the underlying cause and rectify it, or are we merely putting a band-aid on it?
The Connection between Mental and Physical Health:
Along the same lines, holistic doctors will take into account a person’s mental and emotional well being. A stomach ache can be just a stomach ache – but it can also be an emotional stomach ache. My job might not be going well… I might be having difficulties with my husband… my kid might be having issues at school. Suddenly, that stomach ache – is not JUST a stomach ache. Whenever I visited my doctor, she always paid attention not just to how my body was doing, but what was going in my life. Were the holidays coming up? (always a HUGE stress for me)… were there any big family / social obligations that were taking its toll? These are important factors in considering why an illness will “suddenly” creep up.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Now that we understand a little more about the attitude of natural healing, we can now discuss the different kinds of methods! Google “alternative medicine” and you will get so many different kinds of treatments and therapies! It can be very overwhelming! Where to start? There are many many different kinds of practitioners and holistic treatments, and as time goes on, there are off-shoots. What’s the difference between them all? And how do I find a good practitioner? Is one better than the other? In the coming weeks (during the BORING winter months ) we will be discussing some of the different treatments that I am familiar with as well as how to find a Natural Doctor
PS – if there are any alternative treatments that you would like me to highlight and discuss, please feel free to give me a holler!