Holistic comes from the Greek word holos, which means “all, entire, or total”. A holistic approach to healing emphasizes on the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical elements of the patient. These forms of alternative healing strive to heal the whole person in context. The theory of this dates back to Aristotle and is philosophy that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
The idea is that all properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its parts alone but instead the whole system explains in an important way how the parts behave. There are different types of holistic healing and a few examples of these include:
- Chiropractic Medicine – The focus may be on the musculoskeletal system, but curing that will then allow the positive energy to flow through the body, healing it as a whole
- Homoeopathy – Channeling the body’s natural ability to heal itself and releasing this power
- Naturopathy – The state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not just focusing on the absence of disease or infirmity
- Traditional Chinese Medicine – This includes Chinese herbal medicine, Chinese food therapy, breathing and meditation
Some people feel that most of these schools of thought do not originate from the scientific-medical tradition and lack sufficient evidence to back up their claims. However, others who have an open mind will reap the benefits that these forms of alternative medicine claim. Some people use these forms of medicine in conjunction with their mainstream medicine to round out their well-being possibilities.
This form of alternative healing has been practiced for over 5000 years. It is a recognized component of different religions throughout the world, but is also used in nonreligious practices. Meditation is a discipline in which someone tries to get beyond their conditioned or “thinking” mind and into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. Often one will use a certain single reference point to achieve such awareness. There are different disciplines of meditation that encompass a wide range of spiritual and or psychophysical practices which may emphasize different goals. Some of these may include an achievement of a higher state of consciousness, creativity, self-awareness, a greater focus, or simply a more relaxed and peaceful mind.
Other Alternative Holistic Healing
There are other forms of alternative healing that stem from holistic healing. Some of these include vibrational or energy medicine, electro-crystal rebalancing, acupressure, Reiki, and massage.
- Reiki – A spiritual form of holistic healing that involves the power of touch and the healing capabilities it can perform. A Reiki master has the ability to lay hands on the infirm releasing their own positive energy so the receiver can block their negative energy which will relieve pain.
- Massage Therapy – This has many physical, physiological and mental benefits. Many patients seek out this form of alternative medicine to relieve pain and stress. Types of stress that are induced everyday can build and cause such maladies as headaches, nausea, and irritability.
Massage therapy can also relieve chronic stress that may be caused by illness or injury. If chronic stress goes untreated then it may lead to heart attack, stroke, or other illnesses. Patients that have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD have received the benefits of massage to avoid the long term affects of widely prescribed drugs. Cancer patients are seeking massage therapy to aid in the extreme stress their body encounters with the variety of treatments they must undergo to fight their disease.
There are a variety of alternative healing options available and each does carry their own claim. Some people do not believe in such options and decide to stick to the scientific-based medicine, others choose to only believe in the power of the mind and body to heal itself, and others may choose aspects of alternative healing to aid in their fight against everyday maladies and those that rule their life. Whatever the decision, the choice is yours.
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