adjective chiefly Philosophy
characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
• Medicine characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.
Many alternative healthcare practitioners today call themselves holistic. It is sometimes an interesting experience to visit a physician who labels himself holistic but takes your history paying greatest attention only to physical factors.
When ancestral energy medicine was broadly popular in China, there was an astute practice that would ensure that doctors would be focused on the health of their patients as opposed to reacting to sickness and disease as is the case today in most countries. It is said that the family physician was fully paid so long as all family members were in good health. When someone became ill, the physician’s pay was reduced or suspended until everyone in the household was well again! Whether historically true or not this anecdote illustrates the importance of preventative health care in Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example.
In the spirit of wholism, and in addition to the basic physical/hereditary history a holistic practitioner will collect before treating you, the practitioner might take the following issues into account when treating you.
All these factors have important impacts on your state of health:
- Your overall stress levels
- Your line of work including number of hours worked in a week
- Your family structure; if you're a single mom, for example, many more considerations should come into play
- Your diet
- Your pursuits of exercise including the assessment of your spinal flexibility and ability to walk long distances, key indicators for vitality and longevity
- Your history with and outlook on holistic therapies and remedies
- Your income level in order to determine a sliding scale for fees, if warranted
- Your mental state
- Your emotional state
- Your health goals
- How much fun and enjoyment you pursue
- What habits or addictions, both good and bad, have you developed and which you would like to get rid of
- If spirituality or belief in a higher power plays any or a central role in your life
The practitioner can immediately assess these in order to get a quick read of your present level of vitality:
- The state and presentation of your skin and countenance
- Your physical posture
Even this is a partial list and interestingly, it may be challenging to find a holistic practitioner who will so extensively interview you to acquire an intimate knowledge of who you are as a person and how she or he can best serve you. How wonderful it would be to be treated so thoroughly taking the entire YOU into account!
May you find your ideal holistic healthcare practitioner and enjoy the experience!