The term ‘holistic’ is derived from the Greek term holos, which means whole. In holistic therapy, healing involves addressing not just illness but the underlying causes and mental, physical, spiritual, and social wellbeing of an individual. The idea is to restore one’s natural balance so that you can lead a rewarding and quality life.
Treatment Options in Holistic Medicine
There are treatment techniques used in holistic medicine. Holistic practitioners decide on the best techniques to employ depending on the individual’s ailment. Depending on the holistic therapist’s training, they may choose to employ one or a combination of the following treatment options:
- Lifestyle changes that promote wellness. These include physical exercises, dieting, spiritual and relationship counseling, and psychotherapy.
- Alternative and complementary therapies include chiropractic care, acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, and massage therapy.
- Surgical procedures and western medicine.
Conditions that can be Managed Using Holistic Therapy
Holistic therapy is usually used in the management of a variety of mental health issues. These include depression, anxiety, existential crisis, PTSD, and stress management.
This form of therapy is also critical in addressing physiological indications that could have occurred because of psychological trauma. Some of these physiological symptoms include issues with the digestive system and muscle tension.
It is important to note that you don’t have to be suffering from mental health problems to seek help from a holistic practitioner. You can engage in their services if you are keen on improving your overall well-being.
Below are some of the conditions that can be managed using holistic therapy.
Research has shown that beyond medication, holistic therapy plays a critical part in managing anxiety. Integrative care is a holistic approach used to treat symptoms associated with anxiety.
This approach considers the complexities linked to anxiety disorder and the reasons why those suffering from the condition experience them.
Some of the other approaches used in treatment include meditation, relaxation training, imagery, and hypnosis.
The approach used in treating depression is very similar to the one used in managing anxiety disorder. Additionally, diet modifications have been key in the treatment of people struggling with depression. Eating whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Talk therapy, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy are also used in the treatment of depression.
Some of the holistic treatments used in managing PTSD include acupuncture, massage therapy, meiki, yoga, and meditation. Conventional medicine is also key in treating PTSD.
4. Stress Management
To manage stress, holistic practitioners recommend lifestyle and dietary changes. Some of the dietary changes recommended include eating foods rich in protein such as beans, seeds, and nuts. These foods help to balance sugar levels thus alleviating stress from the adrenal glands.
Fermented foods such as coconut yogurt, dill pickles, and miso soup are also important. They are critical in promoting gut health. They help in managing anxiety and improving the immune system’s response.
Foods rich in Omega 3 promote brain and adrenal health thus alleviating stress. Such foods include sardines, chia seeds, salmon, blue algae, and flax seeds.
Reducing intake of alcohol and caffeine while increasing water intake helps in promoting adrenal health and reduces spikes in blood sugar.
Physical exercising promotes overall fitness but also helps in managing stress. Exercise options include but are not limited to power walking, yoga, interval training, and dancing.
Meditation is a relaxation technique that promotes adrenal health and helps maintain a healthy body, spirit, and mental balance.
5. Existential crisis
An existential crisis is a term used to describe a condition that leads to extreme despair and stress. Behavioral training is an approach in holistic therapy and is usually administered by a trained practitioner such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Conventional medication may also be prescribed during treatment.
Restrictions and Criticisms of Holistic Treatment
Holistic therapy involves working on emotions and reaching the soul and mind levels. Most individuals are not able to get to this level. This is because it requires a lot of hard work and can take years to work through one’s emotions and reach the ideal emotional level.
Going through emotional interventions during holistic therapy can also be very uncomfortable because you might come face to face with truths about you that are difficult to face or even admit.
To address the duration it takes for one to successfully go through holistic therapy, clinical holistic therapy was introduced. This approach helps individuals achieve a sense of wholesomeness within a reasonably short amount of time.
When an individual attends more than 40 clinical holistic treatment sessions while employing physical exercises and psychodynamic approaches, they can stop attending regular sessions and continue practicing holistic living on their own.
During recovery and after, it is important to have an interdisciplinary team of practitioners who assist in analyzing symptoms and mapping out the best treatment to address one’s spiritual, emotional, and psychological needs.
How Long Does the Treatment Last?
There is no set timeline for holistic treatment. Once you engage a holistic therapist, they will guide you through the process of setting goals. These goals outline what you hope to achieve from the therapy.
During the treatment, your therapist will help you evaluate whether you are meeting the set-out goals every step of the way. You may wish to continue with therapy even after you’ve achieved your goals so that you can get to a point where you can practice the holistic techniques without hand-holding from your therapist.
You do not need to have any issues or symptoms to engage in holistic therapy. Many individuals practice it to ensure that they are living a balanced life. Holistic therapy never ceases to be useful in one’s life.
Ultimately, holistic therapy is used to heal your body, soul, and mind. Through holistic therapy, you will not only be able to address issues in your body and life, but you will ultimately live an all-rounded wholesome life.