I spoken before about how I incorporate a holistic approach in with traditional medicine. If you are looking for ways to bring in more of that holistic healthcare side to your own lifestyle then read on to see what my guest poster Jen has to say about this!
Most doctors have a specialized practice and tend to treat a certain body part individually. While holistic practitioners usually have a specialization as well, they consider how their area of focus might affect the body as a whole. For instance, holistic dentists focus on oral care, but they also help patients understand how oral disease can impact other organs in the body.
Rather than simply prescribe pain medication, a holistic doctor works with you to create an entire regimen, from modifying your diet to discussing a restful nighttime routine. If you’re considering a lifestyle doctor, start with the following five tips.
1. Consider your health history
Once you’ve begun seeing a holistic doctor, he or she will want to learn more about your overall health. For example, your holistic dentist might ask about your sensitivity to gluten if you have rapid tooth decay. Because gluten allergies cause inflammation and intestinal swelling, patients with Celiac Disease struggle to absorb the minerals required to keep teeth strong. Part of the problem is due to prescription pills covered with gluten casings. Many dentists wouldn’t make this connection and assume your tooth decay is from a diet high in sugar and acidic foods.
2. Don’t be afraid to try something new
Part of implementing a holistic approach to medicine is trying unfamiliar treatments that may even be a little scary at first. Letting go of the normal process, typically involving doctor’s visits and recommended prescription dosages, can be difficult. A holistic doctor goes beyond western medicine to analyze the best possible lifestyle treatment for your ailment.
Acupuncture, for example, stimulates endorphin production (much like moderate exercise) and blocks pain naturally and effectively. First, your licensed acupuncturist takes your pulse and examines the tongue, skin, and eyes, to find the “blocked energy” in your system. Then, he or she quickly taps thin needles into your skin – which may cause light pressure or itching, but virtually no significant pain. The biggest hurdle people have to get over when visiting an acupuncturist for the first time is the “ew” factor. A lot of the negative feelings toward acupuncture are mental. Put your mind at ease by remembering how homeopathic procedures like this can not only ease your current pains, but lead to a better balanced body for long-term results.
3. Be patient with results
Unlike a painkiller, holistic medicine often comes with delayed effects. Neuropathic and homeopathic treatments are not intended to act as quick fixes, but rather, long-term strategies for optimal health and wellness. Over time, you’ll begin to understand that numerous medications designed to target one issue are somewhat unnecessary. Instead, you’ll be equipped with a preventative, comprehensive plan to maintain a wholesome, synchronized, and natural lifestyle.
4. Listen to your body
Once you’ve begun your holistic approach to healthcare and wellness, take time to evaluate how things are going. The main emphasis of the holistic lifestyle is about the connection between mind, body, and spirit. If you tend to brush off symptoms or illnesses, keep a journal of good and bad days. For instance, individuals suffering from migraines might want to keep a log with a pain scale – one being little to no pain and 10 implying the most severe symptoms. Check for patterns and cross-examine results with your everyday life. Did your least painful mornings come after a nighttime yoga class? Did your most painful mornings follow a chiropractic treatment? Journaling like this is known to be therapeutic, and it can also help you identify people, places, and things that make you feel your best.
5. It’s OK to be skeptical
If you’ve been under the standard, westernized healthcare system your entire life, you might think holistic medicine is a bit far-fetched – and that’s understandable. If you’re not ready to make the switch, research. Read success stories and talk with multiple doctors until you’ve found the right one. As is with regular medicine, not every practitioner has the same approach. Implementing a holistic lifestyle is a journey, and finding your best path takes time.
What are your tips for switching to holistic healthcare?
Jennifer McCarrick is a Media Coordinator at Assure A Smile located in Miami. She holds a Bachelor’s of Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and enjoys writing about everything from holistic practices to general healthcare. Read more of her writing on the Assure A Smile blog or follow them on Twitter.