Holistic medicine considers the whole person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions – for optimal health and wellness. One can achieve optimal health – the primary goal of holistic medicine practice – by gaining proper balance in life.
- Uses all forms of health care, from conventional medication to alternative therapies, to treat a patient.
- Healing takes a team approach involving the patient and doctor.
- Uses a variety of treatment techniques to help their patients take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve optimal health.
- Addresses all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care
- Treatment is fixing the cause of the condition, not alleviating symptoms.
Types of Holistic Treatments
- Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet modification, exercise, psychotherapy, and more.
- Complementary and alternative therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, herbal remedies or botanical pharmacology, aromatherapy, massage therapy, and others.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
- Term for medical products and practices not a part of standard care.
- Complementary medicine is used together with standard medical care.
- Alternative medicine is used in place of standard medical care.
Aromatherapy: A form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function, or physical health.
How does Aromatherapy work?
- Volatile chemical compounds in the oils stimulate nerves in the nose when inhaled and nerves send impulses to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion.
- Oils interact with the glands that excrete hormones and enzymes to cause changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other body functions.
- Used to treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions, including burns, infections, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
- Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.
Mechanisms of Action:
- Influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system.
- Direct pharmacological effects of the essential oil compounds on the body.
Materials Used in Aromatherapeutic Treatments
What about Mineral oil? Mineral oil is not used in aromatherapy because they do not penetrate the skin, therefore the EO will not be absorbed.
ALMOND, SWEET OIL: Absorbs moderately, slightly oily and leaves the skin feeling slightly oily. Almost completely clear with a trace of yellow. Considered to be the perfect all-purpose carrier oil. Blends well with Avocado Oil.
COCONUT OIL: Easy to spread and non-oily, can blend a 10% dilution of coconut oil with another carrier oil.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL: Thin and its not oily on the skin. Excellent for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Evening Primrose Oil can go rancid quickly. It is also expensive, so you can blend a 10% dilution of evening primrose oil with another carrier oil. Can be used in creams.
GRAPESEED OIL: Thin fine texture, leaving no oily residue. Inexpensive. May have some trace amounts of chemical solvent in the oil because of the manner in which it is extracted. It has the possibility of turning rancid quickly. If it is stored in a dark bottle in a cool dark area, you may not have any problems with rancidity. Blends well with Avocado Oil.
OLIVE OIL: Heavy and oily. Use the greenest oil you can possibly purchase. The greener the oil, the closer it is to pure cold pressed.
- Lemon and sweet orange essential oils are said to be uplifting and to relieve stress.
- Red Thyme oil is highly antibiotic and antiseptic, especially against E. Coli, Streptococcus, and Candida.
- Peppermint oil is often used to deter ants, by applying a few drops on their trail; spiders and mice will avoid its aroma as well.
- Lavender, Jasmine, and Chamomile are used for anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and as an anti-depressant.
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.
- Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life; Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential.
- Provides guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.
- Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments:
Movement – Vata (Wind)
Transformation – Pitta (Fire)
Structure – Kapha (Earth)
- These forces are responsible for the characteristics of mind and body; each has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.
- For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.
|Seven basic tissues (dhatu):
|Twenty gunas (characteristics):
Botanical Pharmacology: The study of the interaction between life forms and the chemicals created by plants.
- The knowledgeable utilization of a multitude of skillfully prepared herbal remedies or “herbal prescriptions” to treat common ailments and complicated diseases.
- Medicinal herbs, flowering fruits, grasses, and tough, aromatic roots all provide some physical benefit to the human body.
- Developed because of the simple understanding that naturally sourced, plant based remedies and therapies are more effective for our physical makeup.
- Plant extracts are not single isolated constituents but a multitude of affective chemical compounds that work synergistically to bring about proper, healthy physical function.
Some examples of botanical treatments include:
- Herbal teas are prepared by combining a small amount of dried or fresh crushed herbs, flowers, stems, barks, or roots and steeping in freshly boiled water for 5 to 60 minutes.
- Decoctions are stronger, medicinal preparations for more serious illnesses and is typically for tough plant materials like seeds, barks, and roots and includes boiling for longer period to ensure chemical extraction.
- Glycerites are vegetable glycerin based herbal extracts for allergies, hormonal issues, and insomnia.
- Tinctures are alcohol based herbal extracts with long shelf lives and are treatments for allergies, infections, coughs, and headaches.
- Infused Oils & Honeys: great for gentle applications, due to low dilutions.
Chiropractic: A complementary and alternative medicine health care profession and an approach to healing concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the nerve, muscular, and skeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Characterized as a health profession, that emphasizes the conservative management of the nerve, muscular, and skeletal systems, without the use of medicines and surgery.
- Emphasizingmanual physical therapy including joint adjustment and manipulation by hand, with particular focus on joint dysfunction and/or subluxations.
- Subluxation implies the presence of anincomplete or partial dislocation of a joint or organ.
- Regularly visiting a chiropractor can have a significant positive impact on your overall well-being.
Ongoing chiropractic maintenance care may offer significant health benefits, including but not limited to, management/relief of:
|Back and neck conditions
Leg pain (Sciatica) and Neuropathy
Hip, knee, foot, and ankle pain
Hand, wrist, shoulder, or elbow pain
Migraine and tension headaches
|High blood pressure
Fibromyalgia and Neuralgia
Bursitis and Arthritis
Homeopathy: system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, or the “law of similars”, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.
- Illness and disease are a result of a disturbance in the flow of vital energy or life force within the body.
- Believed that the energetic, not chemical, content of homeopathic remedies that assist in aligning the energy flow, thus allowing for reversal of illness and disease.
- The doses of homeopathic remedies are minuscule, or immeasurable, meaning little to no actual physical chemical compounds are found within them.
- Through succussion, or rapid and sharp controlled tapping of the bottle containing the extract, also known as the process of potentization, the vital force from the plant, mineral, chemical, or animal extract are released and are diluted multiple times in alcohol and/or water.
- Only about one or two drops of the liquid are used at a time, usually by dropping onto sugar pellets.
This philosophy based on the premise that less is more. The higher the dilution, or the amount water or alcohol in ratio to the compound diluted, of the extract the higher the overall effectiveness within the body.
What is homeopathy used for?
Historically, people have used homeopathy to maintain health and treat a wide range of long-term illnesses, such as allergies, atopic dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. They have also used it to treat minor injuries, such as cuts and scrapes and muscle strains or sprains. Homeopathic treatment is not considered appropriate for illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, major infections, or emergencies.
Naturopathic medicine: a scientific form of alternative medicine based on a belief in vitalism.
Vitalism: posits that a special energy called vital energy or vital force guides bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and adaptation.
Naturopathy: favors a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoids the use of surgery and drugs, but will implement their use if deemed necessary or when other treatments have not worked, as a last resort.
- This system of treatment is divided into three categories: traditional naturopaths; naturopathic physicians; and other health care providers that provide naturopathic services.
- In the US they can be Naturopathic physicians that employ the principles of naturopathy within the context of conventional medical practices.
- Comprises many different treatment modalities such as nutritional and herbal medicine, lifestyle advice, counseling, flower essence, homeopathy and remedial massage.
- Prevention through stress reduction and a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized, and pharmaceutical drugs, ionizing radiation, and surgery, are generally avoided.
- Focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.
- Helps to facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health.
- It’s role to help identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.