Natural remedies

Understanding Holistic Medicine

Holistic doctors look at the patient as a whole and not as a symptom to be treated.  Holistic medicine focuses on healing the whole person instead of the specific illness.  The meaning “Holistic” comes from the Greek word “holos” which means whole. Holistic doctors understand the mind-body connection and how it plays a role in mental and physical health problems. Holistic medicine dates back 5,000 years and originated in China and India before medicinal treatments came into the picture.  It is the oldest form of medical care. Western herbalism originated in Ancient Greece and Rome, then spread to Europe, then North and South America.

Modern medicine as we know it emerged after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century when there was rapid economical growth in Western Europe and the Americas.  As physicians learned that some diseases were caused by bacteria, they turned to medicines to treat symptoms and conditions. Many of the medicines developed early in modern medicine were derived from natural substances found in sources such as plants,  bacteria, and fungi. as the discovery of these drugs slowed, man-made molecules have not filled the deficit. The pharmaceutical industry started with local apothecaries that expanded from their traditional role distributing botanical drugs such as morphine and quinine to wholesale manufacture in the mid-1800s, and from discoveries resulting from applied research.

The western holistic movement began in the late 1960s as people felt that modern medicine relied too much on drugs for diagnosing and treating diseases. There are a variety of medical practices that fall under the category of natural medicine such as herbal, holistic, naturopathic, integrative, restorative, complementary, and functional medicine.

Here are some differences between medical practices:

Naturopathic vs Holistic  Medicine

The difference between naturopathic medicine and holistic medicine is that naturopathic medicine has specific training rooted in natural remedies and doesn’t require a traditional degree of medicine.  Most naturopaths are Ph. Ds and not M.D.s but they can have both. Holistic medicine is practiced by physicians with conventional medical training who receive additional training in natural medicine disciplines. Other terms for holistic medicine include integrative, restorative, and functional medicine.

Naturopathy uses primarily natural remedies such as herbs, massage, acupuncture, and exercise to restore and sustain health. Holistic medicine is used by physicians who have completed conventional medical training also  believe in treating the whole person—body, spirit, mind, and emotions—to restore and maintain health.

Holistic doctors use cutting-edge laboratory testing to identify the cause of health problems that routine blood testing often misses. Holistic medicine provides a number of medical treatments that help improve the overall health of patients suffering from hormone problems, chronic medical conditions, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, gut problems, food allergies, addiction, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, environmental toxins, and other chronic illnesses.

Conventional Medicine

Conventional medicine strongly emphasizes the diagnosis of illnesses by using a symptom list. It relies mostly on the use of pharmaceutical drugs,  procedures, and surgery.

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