When you hear the word “holistic,” you may think of practices like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and nutritional counseling. At its core, however, the word holistic simply means “whole.”
When it’s used in conjunction with medicine, is refers to a medical approach that takes into account the entire person and the circumstances surrounding them. Conventional medicine uses treatments like medication and surgery to treat symptoms. Holistic medicine, on the other hand, focuses on eliminating symptoms by treating the underlying causes of diseases and restoring the health of the whole body.
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What Conditions can Holistic Medicine Treat?
Holistic medicine treats many wellness concerns, such Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, menstrual problems, arthritis, and more. Depending on your ailment, your holistic care provider could recommend a wide variety of clinically-proven therapies, including:
- Prescription of modern medication or surgical procedures
- Alternative therapies including chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage, naturopathy, acupuncture, yoga, and meditation
- Dietary supplements and herbal medicine
- Education on nutrition and exercise
- Psychotherapy and counseling
For example, those who suffer from fibromyalgia can be treated with acupuncture to find relief from their pain without the physical side effects that certain medications can bring about. Women who experience extreme menstrual cramps can use herbal medicines to find natural relief. People living with arthritis may find that dietary changes make a significant difference to their quality of life. These are just a few examples that help illustrate the difference a holistic approach can make.
Depending on your individual needs, your holistic doctor may also work with non-holistic practitioners on your behalf if conventional medications or surgical procedures are necessary. This is known as an integrative approach. For example, you may be prescribed medication, given a new diet to follow, and advised meditation all at the same time under a holistic approach. As you can see, this is very different to conventional medicine, in which doctors typically would only prescribe medication.
Does this Mean Holistic Doctors are Real Doctors?
When you’re choosing a holistic doctor, it’s important to choose someone who is trained, licensed, and board certified as a physician. Any doctor with a medical degree can practice holistic medicine, but not everyone who practices holistic medicine is a board-certified physician. This means that some holistic practitioners may call themselves a “doctor” but are not actually licensed to practice medicine.
Dr. Robin Ridinger is a board-certified family medicine physician with more than 25 years of experience. She’s also board certified in integrative holistic medicine. By integrating conventional medical training with holistic treatments, she’s able to provide care that is truly comprehensive for her patients. She takes the time needed to get to know each patient, and because she can alternate between traditional medicine and alternative practices, she can find the best combination for each person.
Holistic doctors with medical degrees, like Dr. Ridinger, have the ability to write prescriptions. However, her broad scope of knowledge and experience means she will also consider factors such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, hormones, supplements, detoxification, and a range of proven alternative therapies, in creating personalized treatment plans to restore the health of each patient.
What are the Benefits of Holistic Medicine?
If you have tried multiple doctors, and multiple medications, without finding the answers you need, it’s time to try something different. Holistic medicine may be right for you if you want a doctor to treat all of you, not just your illness, with a view to helping you regain your health so you can live a full life. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Taking a holistic approach means you’ll need to work with your doctor to follow a treatment plan that targets the root of the illness, not just the symptoms.
Many patients try conventional medical treatments but find they do not work for them. Many chronic health conditions come with a range of seemingly unlinked symptoms that can be difficult to treat with medication alone, which means they may benefit from a holistic approach. Holistic medicine can be used as a solution for those suffering from a major illness, as a preventative measure for certain illnesses, or as a way to maintain good health for life.
Are you wanting to regain control of your health, and alleviate your symptoms, in a natural way? Holistic medicine may hold the answers you need. It’s time to get back to doing the things you love.
Let’s take the first step together. Talk to our team in Leesburg, VA.