Wholistic Medicine vs Holistic Medicine

Wholistic Medicine
Holistic Medicine

Whenever I see wholistic medicine I just assume that the person spelled it wrong and they really meant to say holistic medicine. While doing keyword research I saw that wholistic medicine is mentioned a lot so I finally took my time and looked up what i means. There are some fields that use the term wholistic. It generally is not supposed to be used with the word medicine but people use it that way all the time. Wholistic means addressing the whole simultaneously. I can see why people use the word wholistic medicine. Naturopath doctors are a type of holistic doctor that does try to consider the whole person and treat them simultaneously instead of compartmentalizing patient’s health care concerns.

Conventional medicine has a lot of compartmentalization (specialist). Nephrology, cardiology, radiology, gynecology, and rheumatology are some of my favorite specialist. I occasionally recommend that patients see them because they can go above and beyond what I have to offer. Most patients seek out a naturopathic doctor because they want someone to put the pieces together. They want to talk about their stomach issues, mental health issues, and chronic stress with someone that understands they may all be related.

A common example is someone who has a major life event and it changes their routine. Like, moving for a job, going from an active job to sedentary job, family expansion, or becoming the primary caretaker for a loved one can all directly impact your health. Five years pass by and you may have put on weight, experienced symptoms of depression/anxiety, or had body pain. Instead of seeing a dietitian for the weight gain, psychiatrist for the depression, and rheumatologist for the joint pain you can see a naturopathic doctor to talk about all the above issues and much more. 

Enter the Holistic Medicine Doctor

Of course holistic medicine doctors cannot address everything all the time so I do recommend specialist but most of the time I try to at least get people unstuck and moving in the right direction.  Holistic medicine medicine appreciates that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes issues affecting part of your body can have a ripple effect throughout your entire body. One easy example that most people can relate to is diarrhea. If you have uncontrotlled diarrhea it changes your life. It can change your daily schedule, travel plans, and ability to comfortably leave the house. These changes and isolation may lead to depression, malnutrition, and weight gain from inactivity.

This patient does not need to see 4 different specialist for each issue. Ideally they would see a naturopathic doctor that would treat the diarrhea and they return to all of their previous activities. Once bowel habits are normalized they can return to being socially and physically active. This is the benefit of holistic medicine. It’s a philosophy that addresses the whole person by realizing that symptoms do not always exist independent but are often related to other things. This can not be discovered via a simple lab test but only through listening to the patient.

The Center for Integrative Wellness

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