Holistic in Alternative Health
Holistic in alternative health can mean a whole host of things depending on who you ask. Ask a client, and they will likely say something about being worried about their health or not having a good experience with their healthcare. Ask a therapist, and you may get an answer about being able to offer various therapies to support their clients, or being able to work with different theories, or supporting their clients health alongside western medicine. The list could go on.
In a nutshell holistic in alternative health is about making sure the whole person’s need are met.
The Wikipedia page on holistic health specifically refers to holism in alternative health in the beginning of page, and as such the reason for this post. Holism doesn’t even originate in alternative health! I’ll agree its been around for a long time as proven in the centuries old practices of therapies such as Chinese medicine and Ayurveda but that doesn’t makes holism limited to alternative health. I was taught that it was Hippocrates that is first recorded as thinking that the cause of illness could be more than a biological one. I know holism is taught to nurses using various theories including Florence Nightingale, so its not excluded from Western medicine either. The revisions page of the wiki shows that this was previously edited to be included in the top explanation yet was quickly removed with two links to quackwatch and a metaphysics book.At first I was really irritated and took it the wrong way. Quackwatch says it all. But the metaphysical reference made me question myself.
I suddenly realised it was a good thing. The wiki page shows that our approach to health can be completely different than in Western medicine. Lets take a client struggling with back pain. He goes to a doctor who naturally provides pain relief and advises him to keep moving and make sure his posture is good. Six weeks later with no improvement and it affecting his life he goes to a massage therapist. She/he can help with many symptoms naturally, also show him why and how to correct his posture, and often as they have more time, can help with any other enquires a client can have such as exercises, supplements, mattresses. Nurses have been asking for years to help their patients in this way as they know it benefits and also prevents health problems.
So I guess it’s really the nurses who should be irritated by the description. I also know that if people looking for a description of holistic health will have the “authority” of Wiki to tell them that they must look to alternative health to find it! Guess disputing the neutrality of the page can wait until my guilty conscience tells me otherwise!
What do you think? What is holistic in alternative health to you? Should we take the credit for holism in health?