Holistic Medicine: What is It?

Holistic Medicine: What is It?

I practice holistic medicine and I am often asked what that means. This is how I define it.

The gift of time. I spent 90 minutes on the first visit to give time to listen to my patient’s story. In this way, I learn the different factors that influence the well-being of my patient and I can get to the root causes. I can’t do this in twelve, even 20 minutes. Sometimes a potential patient will ask why my appointments are longer than usual. I explain that my conventional medical training taught me to listen for symptoms and then quickly order tests or write prescriptions. This model allows doctors to see large numbers of patients in a short time. However, medications and surgery silence symptoms, but they rarely change the underlying disease. This never made sense to me, and I looked for a different approach.

Restoring health. I don’t fight disease. I help my patients restore their health. Each patient leaves with a regimen designed to create the causes and conditions for health. With that, his own capacity for self-healing, an idea that goes back at least to Hippocrates, cures his ailments. I have a special interest and faith in diet to do this, but I also use bioidentical hormone replacement, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, and cranial osteopathy. I often advise patients to learn mindfulness meditation, yoga, or tai chi to cultivate mind and body awareness, and calm their overloaded nervous systems. I mean when other modalities seem appropriate, like acupuncture or psychotherapy.

This model of health restoration is the model of the future. My hope is that more doctors will adopt it. Until then, the American Holistic Medical Association website http://www.holisticmedicine.org has a “doctor finder” that can help you find someone like me in your area.

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