Alternative Medicine Isn’t Always Holistic

General, Lifestyle, Wellness Blog

Many people contact the Center for Holistic Health looking for an alternative approach to addressing their health problems. This is usually after the conventional approach they tried hasn’t worked. Many times they’re not even really sure what holistic means. I recently gave a consultation that exemplifies this point perfectly.

A woman came into the office complaining of pain and numbness radiating down into her arm. The condition was even beginning to cause her to have a loss of strength in the arm and hand. Another client had referred her, telling her I could work magic.

Throughout the consultation, I tried to lead her down the road of exploration into why she was experiencing these symptoms. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem too interested in engaging in that exploration or much conversation at all. She just wanted her symptoms to go away.

When I asked, she insisted that she was completely stress free. Now, this is certainly possible but highly unlikely, especially in someone experiencing the symptoms that were plaguing her. After thirteen years of examining people, , I was well assured of what I would find. As expected, she had a high amount of tension stored in the area of the spine that produced the nerve supply to the symptomatic area. Based on my findings, I could also tell that it was a long-term manifestation. I let her know that this was something that didn’t occur overnight.

After the exam, I began to work on her, helping her body to become aware of and release some of the stored tension. The release of tension was obvious to the both of us. She even commented about the difference she felt.

The following day I received a phone call from the woman. She said she didn’t think the holistic approach was going to work for her. Her symptoms did not go away after the first visit, so she was going to try something different. I thanked her for calling to let me know of her decision to end treatment, but reminded her that a holistic approach is not associated with a quick fix; it is a long-term solution.

In reality, she had made the choice not to take a holistic route before she ever called the Center for Holistic Health. Like many, she was under the impression that holistic meant a natural, less invasive and even magical way of achieving the same goals as one would in the medical minded approach. While I don’t sit in judgment of people’s decisions to pursue a particular philosophical approach, the act of making choices without the full understanding of their ramifications is unfortunate. I would call that unconscious behavior.

Many people would like to plug a holistic practice into the medical model they are currently using. If your desired outcome is to reduce symptoms without exploration into the contributing factors, then the medical model is congruent with your goals. However, if your desire is to change the circumstances or behaviors that resulted in your symptoms, and to learn to adapt and grow, then a holistic approach is what you’re looking for.

It is important that people understand the difference between these models, and that they embrace how the choices they make will affect their quality of life. When individuals have a better understanding, only then can they make informed or “conscious” decisions.


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