What Does Natural and Holistic Medicine Mean Anyway?

At Desert Oasis Clinic we pride ourselves on combining conventional medical practices with alternative and natural therapies to help patients achieve optimum health. If you’ve looked at our website, you undoubtedly saw the terms natural and holistic more times than you can count. What do the words “natural” and “holistic” mean, exactly?

Usually, when healthcare practices use the term “natural health,” they are referring to taking a holistic approach to wellness. Addressing every component of the patient’s life: how they eat, how they care for themselves, and how they manage stress; providers look beyond the presenting symptoms to put the patient on the right path to well-being. By looking at the body, mind, and lifestyle, this type of provider is giving holistic healthcare. 

When applied correctly, natural and holistic can be used interchangeably. By considering the whole person as a system capable of healing itself, holistic health providers can give a treatment that is comprehensive because it is based on a complete picture or diagnosis. Traditional medicine often takes a symptom-based approach and may only focus on what a patient reports, often missing the different life areas that could be contributing to those symptoms. 

Holistic vs. Naturopathic Medicine

Some think that natural and holistic medicine means relying only on herbs and supplements as the main course of treatment. Holistic health providers will look outside of what is taught in traditional medical school for complementary, evidence-based therapies. Naturopathic medicine is more in line with what many people view as Eastern-influenced medicine using herbs and supplements. 

Naturopathy is a specific discipline of medicine that uses natural remedies such as herbs, acupuncture, massage, and nutritional counseling to help the body align itself and heal. Holistic medicine, on the other hand, is often administered by medical providers who have been conventionally trained and have added to their practice treatments that address the concerns of the whole person. Another term for this type of medical model is called integrative medicine. 

Integrative health providers have added to their medical training a philosophy of well-being that believes our bodies’ various organs and systems can work as an interconnected system. The thought is that healing is achieved, and the body is at its best when the mind, body, and emotions are considered as a unit.

What Does Integrative Health Look Like?

Using a variety of clinically proven methods, holistic care providers can attend to several health concerns and conditions. Like traditionally trained physicians, holistic care doctors are known to recommend therapies such as surgery, medications, and nutritional advice along with science-backed alternative methods such as Biopuncture, Lymphatic Stimulation , or Osteopathic Manipulation (OMT) (just to name a few). 

What Can You Do? 

It is said that there are five aspects of holistic care: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and mental. Working to achieve balance in these areas is believed to be the key to optimum health. Whether it is getting eight hours of sleep every night so your body can rest and repair from the previous day, or practicing mindfulness to reduce stress, there are things at our fingertips that can help us live well.

If you need help deciding what healthy practices to start or revamp, give Desert Oasis Clinic a call at 702-310-9350  to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thompson and begin your holistic care journey.

Posted in: Health Tips