Holistic health therapies are taken to be alternative health therapies, and are used in place of conventional medical remedies. These alternative therapies are wide-ranging, and include acupuncture, homeopathy, and naturopathy, among others. These alternative health therapies are usually offered in a natural health clinic, or a holistic health centre.
A fuller set of therapies that one can hope to find in a natural health clinic, or holistic health centre would include acupuncture, aromatherapy, counseling, craniofacial therapy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, Hopi ear candling, hypnotherapy, massage, meditation, nutritional therapy, osteopathy, psychotherapy, reflexology, reiki and shiatsu. These are all holistic health therapies which is able to be used in place of conventional medicine to promote healing and the restoration of a person’s total well-being in a holistic manner.
We’ll now shortly look at some of these alternative health therapies:
This is a type of alternative medicine which uses thin needles inserted and manipulated in a patient’s body to treat the patient. This is based on premise that an invisible energy or life-force called the qi regulates bodily functions. As a result, it is possible to correct imbalances in the flow of the qi by stimulating anatomical locations on or under the skin. These locations, known as acupuncture points, are recognized by channels familiar with meridians.
This is another type of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant oils, in the form of essential oils and other aromatic compounds, to alter a person’s mind, cognitive function or health and thus achieve psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy employs the holistic health approach that seeks to find the mind-body interconnection by working on the mind to promote the well-being of the body.
Herbal medicine is the body of holistic health therapies and practices that use plants and plant extracts to help improve health and well-being. Herbal medicine products come in various forms, including teas, tablets and powders. They help to relieve stress, bring about relaxation and alleviate or cure certain ailments.
Homeopathy is another type of alternative medicine where patients are treated through the use of highly diluted substances, which are meant to promote the body’s own natural healing system. Homeopathy is a holistic health therapy that seeks to treat ‘like with like’. Its premise is that if you have a substance that causes particular symptoms of an ailment when taken in large doses, then it is possible to treat those symptoms by administering small doses of that substance. It is for this reason that such substances are given in heavily diluted forms so as to make them non-toxic.
Naturopathy is yet another type of alternative medicine that is based on the belief that our body has the ability to heal itself. A practitioner of Naturopathy is known as a naturopath. A naturopath uses diet, exercise, natural therapies among other methods to promote the body’s ability to fight ailments. A naturopath adopts the holistic health approach by viewing the interconnections that make up the patient, in terms of his or her mind, body and spirit, instead of focusing on the single element or elements that are causing the ailment, be it an ulcer or a blocked artery. Armed with this information, the naturopath develops holistic treatment plans that combine both conventional medical practices and natural and alternative therapies with the aim of treating the ailment or disease, and restoring full health.
As has been seen above, holistic health looks at a person as a whole, and seeks to treat any problem affecting his or her well-being by taking into account their mind, body and spirit, instead of just one or the other in isolation. The therapies available under the holistic health approach can be very beneficial when used under the guidance of trained practitioners in bringing about healing and promoting the total well-being of a person.