Holistic health = a thriving whole person
The holistic health approach to life includes self-care for the body, mind, soul and a balanced lifestyle. Prevention of catastrophic illness happens with this self-care. Sounds tricky, right?
Holistic health as a lifestyle focus can be tricky. Many of us are born into, or have created a lifestyle that lacks balance, good health, or options for change. If you aren’t now in a thriving lifestyle, it can be tricky to transform your circumstances and habits. I’m here to help you.
Ancient healing systems teach us that we are all spiritual beings, coming forth from something beyond us. We’re also bodies and minds. We are connected to one another. And, we’re also connected to the earth in deep and powerful ways.
The holistic health practitioner of today teaches and guides us in this very connection of spirit, body, and mind. Here at Holland Health Coaching, we teach our clients that disease represents an imbalance in our bodies. Disease also points to an imbalance between ourselves and natural, social, and global communities. Holistic health practitioners believe that our individual health, and the health of the world, depend upon a restoration of that balance.
Holistic health as a treatment model isn’t in use by western internal medicine professionals.
Internal medicine doctors in North America are paid to diagnose an established illness, prescribe drugs, or perform surgery. A person who’s uncertain about their body and experiencing intermittent symptoms doesn’t fit well in the traditional medical practice.
Why is this? There isn’t an insurance code for empathizing with a patient or creating a calm environment for conversation. Doctors need an insurance code that corresponds with distinct medical conditions. Added to this limitation, many traditional western doctors in corporate medical practices churn through their appointments on a tight schedule.
We’ve all exited a doctor’s appointment feeling rushed or dismissed. If our major health indicators like heart rate and blood pressure look fine, our personal, gut-felt health concerns are likely not investigated. The current health care system makes it nearly impossible for most doctors to prolong a “What if?” conversation. My doctors have rolled their eyes at the topic of alternative care. Unfortunately, many doctors have little time to encourage lifestyle changes or talk about healthier eating patterns.
How are holistic health practitioners different from traditional internal medicine doctors?
Falling under the umbrella of holistic health or alternative medicine, you can find expert treatments and preventative therapies like:
- Allergy Testing
- Herbal Medicine
- Lifestyle Change Coaching
- Mindfulness Training
- Nutritional Therapy
- Pain Management
- Supplements and Vitamin Therapies
The first appointment in a holistic health practitioner’s office can include a long intake conversation; a calming atmosphere; extensive resources for improving the diet and increasing exercise compliance; expert guidance on reducing chronic stress; details about how the human body can heal when balance is created; gentle physical contact; and empathetic listening by the practitioner and staff.
After our first appointment, we take responsibility for home-based self-care practices. This approach to life is based on treating the root cause of illness, not just the symptoms of illness. We prevent illnesses that only expensive drugs or surgeries have to treat. For instance, we can prevent Type 2 Diabetes and avoid Metformin. We can nourish and exercise our bodies to prevent heart disease or high blood pressure. This answers the common question, “why is holistic health important?”
There is no doubt that doctors who spend more time with patients and listen more carefully will see better health outcomes.
When doctors spend more time, learn their patient’s name, and truly hear the patient’s health concerns, a better outcome for everyone is likely. The current traditional medical practice isn’t this best-case bonding scenario. Do you get the feeling that the doctor doesn’t know your name unless he or she looks at the computer screen? It’s difficult for any patient to change their lifestyle when, as it seems clear, the doctor doesn’t know their name. They are the “gall bladder in room 4” and that doesn’t feel good.
Not every traditional doctor lacks a gentle bed-side manner. It’s just that many doctors find it easier to talk about data than talk about life-saving self-care behaviors.
Huge money is invested in prescription medicines and advances in medical treatment. The average lifespan of Americans increased from 69.7 years in 1960 to almost 80 years in 2007. The connection between big Pharma and life span increases is not the whole picture.
“Health care in America should be democratized so that everyone has the self-care tools to live a long and fruitful life.” Coach Georgianne
In addition, there is a heroic place in our health care system for professionals who can save lives in emergencies and during catastrophic illnesses. We ALL have seen in the summer of 2020 heroic efforts by doctors, nurses, and entire medical teams. Sometimes, only quick access to expert surgeons and new disease drugs will save a life.
Is now the time to give more credence to an integration of traditional western medicine and the holistic health practices we love?
In his book the Manifesto For a New Medicine, James S. Gordon, MD makes his case for this integration.
“Illness, physical and emotional, is for many of us the great teacher. We struggle against it, looking to the old authorities, mobilizing the old ways. We have all the tests and take all the drugs, and maybe we have our bodies opened…some of us are quickly helped and cured…Some of us, at some point, drop to our knees. Nothing has worked…the new medicine [practice] values help and curing. Whatever their origins: antibiotics and acupuncture, surgery and group support are all blessings. The new medicine is based on a healing partnership in which loving help is given and received and knowledge is shared.” #jamesgordon