Holistic Health Perspective

Despite popular belief that America provides some of the best medical care in the world, recent studies by the World Health Organization and Commonwealth Fund conclude that the U.S. is lagging behind other developed countries. In the past decade there have been increased cases of infant mortality, autism, and breast cancer, showing a trend of health decline in America.  This is a complex field, which demands  holistic perspectives to move forward in a beneficial way for society.

The future of healthcare in the U.S. must incorporate a holistic approach to improve. Holistic perspectives consider environmental factors affecting patients, as well as observing the whole health of the body when determining treatment.  This is a personal approach that can help healthcare providers sort through myriads of symptoms to reach core issues.  It allows the opportunity to prevent unnecessary medication and treatment, and it provides the patient with longer-term benefits.

As modern medicine evolves, the body is being understood more holistically.  While there have been many advances through symptom treatment, there are many diseases arising that can only be understood through a holistic lens. Diseases such as Chronic Fatigue and ADHD are proving a need to study environmental impacts more closely. As we further our knowledge, it is imperative that we observe the many relationships that affect human well-being.  This includes the relationships with nature, society, and even our own mind.

Holistic health knowledge perceives the benefit of immune boosting elements such as Echinacea or Vitamin C, that can help one stay well.  It looks at the modern nutritional crisis, which is causing many diseases, and shows the importance of dietary awareness. Also, it acknowledges the growing number of cancer survivors who report remissions after dealing with deep emotional issues.  This work to understand into the interactive nature of the body and mind is a natural evolution in medicine. The benefit is already reaching many people, and the implications for a better quality of care are clear.

The body’s reactions to the environment are very precise.  The inner working of the body depends on tiny enzymes, magnetic pulls, and millions of interactions that require a specific homeostasis.  When this falls out of balance it will manifest in sickness.  Treating the body by symptom can overlook this inner balance that is needed, and symptoms will reoccur, possibly in a new form.

An example of the need for a holistic approach is the treatment of thyroid problems in women.  Iron and hormonal supplements are often given to women with thyroid issues, sometimes for life. This sends the message that human beings are meant to be continually sick and dysfunctional. This view is very dangerous, and it is critical to look at the root of the imbalance. There have been links to chlorine and bromine effectively blocking iron receptivity in the body, disrupting thyroid function. While the full impact of these chemical exposures within the body is still being determined, it is clear this needs to be acknowledged for a person to achieve a life of lasting wellness.

An allopathic approach to medicine can undermine an individual’s potential to heal and correct.  It seems to become a war against symptoms.  Symptoms are the natural physiological response to a need for change.  These indicators to distress can be a point of communicating physical needs.  When this is acknowledged, a patient can look at factors that he or she can change to bring balance.  Links between mental stress and illness have been made clear.  Yet, the conditioned approach remains to let the Doctor prescribe, before we consider changes in lifestyle.  While this is a personal choice, bringing more awareness to these factors could offer more options to a person seeking health.

Another advantage to holistic oriented healthcare is that it favors non-invasive techniques.  Surgical procedures can be very shocking on the body, and have many risks.  This should be a last resort, but surgical procedures, like cesarean sections for births, are on the rise. There are many cases where unneeded surgical procedures are administered, to the future regret of the patient.  While there is some need for these procedures, having access to alternative perspectives can offer potentially safer options and treatments.

In the United States, modern society is increasingly removed from nature.  There are segments of the population who never even step outside.  This is confusing for our biological functions, which have evolved within the natural world. In order to improve overall health, it is obvious that connection with nature is important.  This can be understood through a holistic perspective, and it can be introduced through natural remedies.   When it can be seen that food can be medicine, or that medicine comes from nature, a deeper relationship with the natural world will transpire.

This connection with nature works on multiple levels.  As the connection is made that nature can heal the body, an individual will tend to respect this bond more.  As the relationship grows, it may spur the impulse to protect that which nurtures.  By protecting our environment, we protect our medicine.  This aspiration to respect the environment fosters even greater improvements in wellbeing, as the focus on eliminating toxicity and pollutions becomes greater. What we do to nature in terms of pollution, we also do to our own health.  We can fix these symptoms, but it will not provide lasting health.  This is critical to understand if any improvement in healthcare is to happen.

Emotional effects on health are virtually ignored by the modern health community, but negative emotional responses have a direct effect on immunity and disease susceptibility.  Massage therapists and chiropractors know very well where their clients are holding tension.  They understand how this tension can throw off the balance of the whole body.  By cultivating a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection, patients can work with lifestyle techniques to complement their wellness treatments.  These changes can offer lasting health, and self-respect.

A holistic view of medicinal treatment offers a more personal diagnosis, which equates to safer treatment options.  Over-medication is a serious health crises Americans are facing.  One patient may get several different medications from different doctors, each unaware of the interactions of previous prescriptions. Also, patients are often prescribed blanket drugs, which do not deal with specific problems.  To make matters worse, patients that suffer severe side effects, instead of being taken off the medications, are given more drugs to counteract the new problems.  This adds up to a medicinal cocktail that can have fatal results.

A more holistic regime would work to seriously consider any intensive acting medicines on the body.  A good practitioner will look at root causes, and previous interactions, hoping to prevent any heavy medicating.  Natural medicines often are gentler on the body, with fewer side effects.  Also, many holistic programs work without the need of drugs at all. This offers patients options that can prevent serious complications.

Holistic treatments work with whole body health.  This encourages increased immunity, vitality, and self-responsibility. This approach is not only incredibly effective in treating disorders, but usually leaves the individual with additional health benefits.  A person suffering from poor diet, for example, may be looking for treatment for irritable bowl.  When they find the proper holistic balance, they may also find that acne clears, or they have higher energy levels. Treating the whole body often has these added benefits, which anyone can enjoy.

Health affects every part of our life, and each individual deserves the access to optimal health-care and wellness.  Holistic perspectives are not only needed as an option to improve health-care in the United States, but they are critical to integrate into existing medical structures. Awareness of the relationships that affect health is fundamental to survival, as well as an important component to increase quality of living.  Health-care that does not consider the holistic nature of life is incomplete, and potentially dangerous.  A holistic approach to health should be the foundation for future innovations in health-care, for the betterment of the individual, and the world.

Thanks for reading, this was a response to a scholarship essay question

Let me know what you think!

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