Holistic and Complementary Medicine
America has long been one of the most prosperous countries yet suffers most from debilitating illnesses to include obesity and often general poor health. However, with rising health care costs and a growing more educated public seeking better solutions this trend may hopefully be reversed. Today, even modern medicine is slowly integrating many other wellness approaches. For example, many hospitals are providing complementary medicine and even building with more contemporary construction that provides more tranquil natural light environments. Holistic medicine has been the pioneer at looking at the whole person and not just at the onset of a particular disease. It looks at the environment, the mind and the spirit and attempts to bring all systems into balance.
So, What is the real difference between complementary, traditional and modern allopathic medicine?
“Complementary” generally refers to using a non-mainstream approach to human health together with conventional medicine. (Nccam.nih.org, 1998). Traditional Medicine refers to the medical systems of the ancient Chinese, Asian Indians, Greeks, European passed down folk medicine and that of Native Americans. “For the most part, traditional medicine has been handed down over thousands of years, both orally and as a written record to future generations. (The Complete Guide to Natural Health, 1997, page 5). Modern medicine formed mostly from the discoveries and in trade that arose during the expansion into the New World and in America is only about two hundred plus years old. Socrates warned around 4th century BC that treating only one part of the body would not have good results. Several factors come into play when illness develops. Detrimental societal issues could often affect human health. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, also stated early on that many factors contribute to affecting human health to include weather, nutrition, and emotional factors. (Skinner Patricia, (2005) Holistic Medicine). To this day, both are admired for their contributions to modern science to include other pioneers in both traditional and orthodox (Modern) medicine.
The essence of all life is based on energy. Life is to be enjoyed and lived in harmonious balance. As we have learned from our biology and chemistry textbooks, to include early education studies; each living cell that forms life and or all matter at the sub-atomic level is composed of vibrational energy via protons, neutrons and electrons. In plant biology we get light energy via photons from sunlight and part of photosynthesis, that later produces our foods or starches in plants. The elements are different based on the number of protons, neutrons and electrons on the outer subsequent rings of the atoms. When two elements combine we get compounds. The cell or human body is in balance when the total life force is in normal balance without physical, mental or spiritual blockage. In order to summarize then we see that traditional medicine views disease as the lack or disruption of balance in the body’s systems. So, How do we get out of balance when nature provided for us with the basic tools to live in harmony?
Poor diet, frequent negative emotions, prolonged stress, pollution, and unchecked over production of free radicals in the body among others tend to disrupt our feeling of wellness, balance and general well being. Rest, good nutrition, exercise and some guidance or support system often helps one get back into balance. Modern medicine has even brought forth lifestyle medicine to come into play to assist in preventive illness. In addition, wellness centers across the country are providing support close to home by providing many programs to assist families and individuals with alternative and traditional treatments. As time passed our world became more complex with many of us serving in many more roles and having a support system or preventive program to assist us nearby sure has helped. Our neighborhoods and nearby communities are now living more consciously and enjoying more natural preventive treatments.
Many Wellness centers across the country today provide a place to grow in wellness and enjoy preventive treatments. They serve as living ongoing preventive in nature approach and healthy lifestyle centers where individuals and families with similar values have a place to meet, recharge and rebalance. Wellness should not just be a concern when disease or illness occurs but a life long preventive lifestyle that rejoices in life, sound medicine and therapeutic preventive treatments. Enjoy holistic health today and every day.
Goldberg, Burton. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Fife, WA: Future Medicine Publishing, 1993.
Murray, Michael, and Joseph Pizzorno. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, 2nd edition Rocklin, CA: Prima Health, 1998.
Skinner, P. (2005). Holistic Medicine. In J. L. Longe (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (2nd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 976-979). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from go.galegroup.com
Tom Monte, and Editors. The Complete Guide to Natural Healing. (1997). New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.