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maintaining good health
term illnesses
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high blood pressure
Nutritions Role In Medicine
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Nutritions Role In Medicine

What is Holistic Medicine

The focus of holistic medicine is on how your physical body, emotional health, spiritual and mental health are connected together in the process of maintaining your overall general health. It is believed that if one of these elements is not in synch with the others that it will affect the whole well being of a person. The holistic treatment approach is to focus on the person as a whole and not just their illness. This is to ensure harmony among all the elements allowing for a more complete treatment.

Many physicians and health care providers promote a healthy lifestyle such as including exercise, eating a balanced nutritious diet, smoking cessation in smokers, and methods of reducing stress for maintaining good health. The holistic treatment method is becoming more acceptable in the mainstream treatment and care of individuals with terminal illnesses such as cancer. It is also being used for complementary therapy and preventive care in those not suffering terminal illness but still have long term illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.

The term holistic is used by doctors when referring to a patients overall health, the focus of which includes the prevention and rehabilitation along with other approaches and not just the illness. For example nurses may refer to a patients biopsychosocial sphere. What this will mean is that a patient's treatment will include treating their mind, their body, and spirit.

Taking their surroundings, culture and environment into consideration when developing their treatment plan is of key importance in holistic medical treatments. This will include one’s family, employment, insurance or lack of, housing, and more, because all of these have an impact on a patients health. When these factors are taken into consideration at the time a patient is being treated for a terminal illness like cancer, it may improve treatment success.

How nutrition and holistic treatment is used with traditional medicine?

Several angles are used in the holistic medicine approach with the treatment of health and diseases . This approach would suggest that a patient should not only treat the illness or disease but the entire person to achieve greater success. Nutrition plays a significant part in holistic treatments. Having the proper nutrional balance will help to ensure that the mind and body are in harmony.

Proper diet will ensure the body will have the needed energy to battle illness and disease. A physician treating a cancer patient may choose to alter the patients behavior and diet. The physician may also add counciling and emotional support groups.

Some suggest taking herbal supplements in combination with complementary alternative treatment therapies. Hypnosis is one of common alternative treatments. Spirituality, yoga and prayer are a few other alternative treatments use in combination with medications. Physicians still prescribe conventional drug treatments and surgeries when warranted.

The holistic methods are used in conjunction with the conventional methods to increase a patience positive outlook and prognosis. Combining nutrition, holistic and conventional treatments physicians are seeing marked progress in extending the life span and quality of life in some terminal cases. With these new forms of holistic and traditional treatment programs a patient plays a more active role in their health care and treatment regimen, giving the patient more confidence that there will be a positive outcome.

Mental attitude has been found to be a critical element in the survival length and rates of a patient. Some physicians still do not fully embrace the idea of holistic medical treatments but even they can not deny the effects of a positive mental attitude in the progress of their patients.

There are some supporters of holistic medicine that believe proper diet and holistic medicine is the only treatment needed. While some supporters of conventional treatments disagree that holistic medicine is a viable treatment option. It is the marriage of the two methods that appears to have the most beneficial outcome for a patient with a possibly terminal illness like cancer.

How does nutrition affect holistic and traditional medicine?

Physicians are discovering how the proper diet can alleviate side effects of traditional treatment regimens like radiation and chemotherapy. Clinical trials and studies have found that diet can play a major role in the effectiveness of medications. Drug interactions can occur when certain foods or drinks are ingested while taking medications.

Examples of interactions, when taking these medications for high cholesterol, Zocor (simvastatin), high blood pressure Procardia (nifedipine), heart arrhythmia Cordarone (amiodarone) all will interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juices. Interactions are one reason proper nutrition is important in any treatment regimen.

Some wonder how effective holistic medicine and nutrtional treatments can truly be when they haven't been around for decades. Holistic treatments have been around for centuries. Scholars such as Hippocrates, Plato and Socrates all endorsed the holistic healing approach to treatment. These renowned healers believed that the mind and body must be in harmony for the bodies own natural healing powers to be effective. Hippocrates often counciled new physicians not to interfere with the bodies own natural healing powers.

In 1926 Jan Christiaan Smuts was the first person to use the term holism which was explained as psychosomatic medicine. Psychosomatic comes from two latin root words (psycho - meaning - mind and the word somatic meaning - body) giving the definition of healing as mind and body. It was many years later when the term holistic became the common term used for this treatment method.

Combined holistic, diet and conventional treatment plans require numerous spiritual and professional health care providers. Physicians, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, dieticians, spiritual leaders, family and friends are all required in a patients treatment. While there is still debate over the efficacy of holistic or conventional treatments as a singular treatment option there is little arguement over the increased effectiveness in the combination. All treatment options, their success rates and possible side effects should be discussed with your pharmacist, physician and spiritual advisor before you begin them.

I hope that this article was informative and helpful.

Street Talk

Thank you Shawn for the support and positivity. I spent the better part of a decade working with pharmacists and patients and enjoy helping and educating with health issues.

  about 9 years ago

Very good stuff Jewel. Nice job on this article!

  about 9 years ago

Thank you Geoffrey I hope it provided some information you didn't already have.

  about 9 years ago

i like your article Jewel

  about 9 years ago
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