Holistic Health Care
Holistic Health Care (HHC) dating back to 3,000 BC has reached a milestone. From Hollywood to traditional medical schools, HHC is being used more as an effective means to improve health and quality of life rather than merely a back-up strategy to TWM (Traditional Western Medicine – Allopathic procedures). According to the Deloitte 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers, the Baby Boomer generation is the most likely to use HHC and make medical decisions independent of their doctors.
• HHC includes a variety of practices, remedies and treatments – Too numerous to list, but categorizing may lend some clarity.
• HHC Systems: built upon complete systems of theory and practice. Examples include: Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Homeopathy, Naturopathy, and Ayurveda.
• Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is based on a concept of balanced qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, that is believed to flow throughout the body. Qi is proposed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy). Disease is proposed to result from the flow of qi being disrupted and yin and yang becoming imbalanced. Among the components of TCM are herbal and nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises, meditation, acupuncture, and remedial massage.
•Naturopathy was founded in the US as a formal healthcare system at the turn of the 20th century by medical practitioners from various natural therapeutic disciplines. By the early 1900s, more than 20 naturopathic medical schools existed, and naturopathic physicians were licensed in most States. Today there are more than 1,000 licensed naturopathic doctors in the US. Today, naturopathic medicine integrates traditional natural therapeutics — including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, traditional oriental medicine, hydrotherapy, and naturopathic manipulative therapy — with modern scientific medical diagnostic science and standards of care. The medical research base of naturopathic practice consists of empirical documentation of treatments using case history observations, medical records, and summaries of practitioners’ clinical experiences.
•Homeopathy was invented by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was both refined and popularized by the American physician James Tyler Kent. Homeopathy is based on the theory that each naturally occurring element, plant, and mineral compound will, when ingested or applied, result in certain symptoms. Hahnemann believed that, by diluting these substances in a standardized manner, one could reach the true essence of that substance. Hahnemann described this process of dilution as “potentizing” (German: “potenziert”) the substance. These diluted amounts could then be used to treat the very symptoms they were known to produce. According to homeopathy, symptoms are the body’s way of fighting disease. Homeopathy teaches that symptoms are to be encouraged, by prescribing a “remedy” in minuscule doses that in large doses would produce the same symptoms seen in the patient. These remedies are meant to stimulate the immune system, helping to cure the illness, according to homeopathy.