When it comes to staying healthy, people can often have conflicting opinions on the proper practices to adopt. After all, what could be an effective practice for one may be considered counterproductive for another. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to staying healthy, as everyone has different life experiences. Not every method is suitable for every person. With the abundant healing practices available today, it has become even more confusing for health-conscious individuals to decide on what to do.
One alternative medical approach that’s quickly gaining popularity is holistic medicine. This is slated to be the true wellness medical healing that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit in the years to come. It also emphasizes the use of natural and gentler products for treatment. Holistic medicine often combines a mix of traditional medicine with an additional alternative approach.
Here are four reasons why more and more people are turning to holistic medicine, especially those who suffer from chronic conditions:
1. It’s Based On Principles That Promote Overall Wellness
One very distinct factor that sets holistic wellness apart from other treatment forms has a lot to do with the principles it’s based on. Simply put, holistic treatment is meant to promote overall wellness and health.
In terms of dealing with chronic pain, this means addressing the problem right from the core. Holistic medicine explores not just the area affected by the pain, but also all other facets of your life that may suffer because of your condition.
The core principles of holistic medicine which promote overall wellness can be summarized as follows:
- Good health isn’t just centered on one area, but a combination of physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and psychological well-being;
- A good and positive relationship between the doctor and the patient is also essential;
- Prevention should come first, and treatment only later;
- Treatment aims to fix the underlying cause of disease or illness instead of just making the symptoms less severe;
- Illness is caused by a problem that is affecting the entire body, not a single body part or event;
- Your chronic pain, or any other condition for that matter, doesn’t define your life;
- Treatment involves a variety of approaches and not just the taking of medicine per see.
2. It Focuses On Emotional And Spiritual Well-Being
When a patient suffers from chronic pain, their condition doesn’t just affect their physical health. It also impacts their emotional and spiritual well-being. Some of these effects are:
- Depression: Your pain and suffering hampers your ability to sleep, work, or even go about your daily life as smoothly as other people do. Naturally, this may cause you to feel depressed and overwhelmed about your situation.
- Anxiety: Chronic pain and anxiety are linked. When you are experiencing pain, the first thing you want to do is to make the pain stop, but with chronic pain, this is not always possible, which can cause feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. It is often common for patients with chronic pain to experience feelings of anxiety when pain is not present about when it might come back. This can have a negative impact on their quality of life and prevent them from doing the things that bring them joy.
- Concentration Troubles: Pain can severely affect a person’s ability to concentrate on tasks which can cause frustration and feelings of disappointment to be heightened.
- Anger: As touched on above, people who experience chronic pain can cause a person to experience feelings of frustration and anger. Diagnosis and treatment methods are not always straightforward, which can be very difficult for patients to contend with.
- Isolation: Chronic pain is an invisible illness, and it can be difficult to explain the condition to others. When people are struggling to understand your situation, you can feel very isolated and alone.
- Insomnia: Chronic pain makes sleeping difficult, mainly because of the pain itself, making insomnia one of the possible side effects brought about by the pain relief medication that you take.
- Guilt: Particularly for parents, the emotional effects of guilt are strong. These include your inability to play with your toddler or do more work to contribute more to the finances of the family.
With holistic medicine, these emotional and spiritual problems are also aimed to be addressed. That way, the patient can work on recovering from chronic pain in its totality, including all these other effects. This is very important, as emotional and physical health are very much related to each other.
Today, medical healthcare professionals are only too aware of the intrinsic link between physical and emotional health and how one can have an impact on the other. Chronic pain can be complex to manage and sometimes frustrating for patients to experience.
This is why it is essential for those working in healthcare to understand the mental as well as the physical challenges of living with chronic pain. A knowledgeable and open-minded doctor or nurse who is open to the holistic and the medical approach to dealing with chronic pain will help put people with chronic conditions at ease, which should, in turn, have a positive impact on their mental health.
A career in healthcare is incredibly rewarding as you make a difference in someone else’s life. If you think you might like to help those with chronic conditions, you might want to consider a career change to nursing, for example. An online accelerated BSN degree from Wilkes University is perfect for those looking to switch their career path.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, you can apply. If you haven’t got any medical experience, don’t be put off as courses like this are designed for those from non-nursing backgrounds, and they can be completed in just 12 months.
If your body continues to suffer the dire effects of emotional stress, this can manifest in other physical health problems on top of your chronic pain. Experiencing periods of poor mental health can affect your body physically by causing headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, and digestive problems, to name a few.
3. It Touches On Education
Holistic medicine encourages the practitioner’s pursuit of education. This refers to teaching you how to make better and healthier lifestyle changes. By committing to these changes, you become equipped with tools to deal and cope with chronic pain better, not just in the near future but also in the long run.
As chronic pain is often a lifelong condition, trying to find ways to better live with the condition by adopting positive lifestyle changes can give you an increased quality of life. These lifestyle changes can include anything from simple daily habits to self-care techniques.
Along this line, treatments can involve the following:
- Support groups,
- Nutrition counseling,
- Stress reduction techniques (gentle exercises such as yoga and stretching, meditation, journaling, and coping skills),
- Dietary supplements, and
As previously mentioned, holistic treatments are often used in conjunction with traditional medicine and can complement treatments such as prescription medicine, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy.
4. It Improves Social Well-Being
Another aspect of one’s life that gets affected by chronic pain is your social well-being. It’s not uncommon to miss out on a lot of social activities, simply because your physical condition impedes you from doing so. Consistent with your condition’s emotional effects, your depression may get the best of you, resulting in isolation or an adamant refusal to talk to others.
A large part of holistic treatment focuses on improving your social wellbeing, so that you can fix any disconnection from family, friends, and loved ones. It can be difficult to truly express how much pain you are in to others when they do not have a chronic pain condition themselves.
Talking to a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling is vital for good mental well-being and can be helpful for dealing with any problems you might have. Remember that a huge part of recovery also has a lot to do with fostering good relationships with those around you. You don’t have to suffer alone.
With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why holistic medicine appeals to people with chronic pain as it offers an alternative approach that can be combined with traditional methods for the biggest potential benefits. This practice may help provide optimum balance in all areas of your life.
There’s no way to discount the viability of these benefits, but it’s also important to remember that this approach isn’t meant to substitute medical advice from a professional. Holistic medicine should not be used in place of medical care, and it is typically suggested to be used to complement regular treatments.
If you’d like to try out holistic medicine for your chronic pain, be sure that you’ll discuss this option with your doctor. That way, you know for certain that you’re safe, and it’ll bring you one step closer to healing.