Holistic Approaches to Wellness

In the past 20 years, the blend of eastern and western medicine in major academic and health centers in North America has increased dramatically. This blending, which some are calling integrative medicine, can have tremendous benefits. To understand the fundamental differences between the two, we can compare how scenarios are treated by both paths.

For instance, if you are suffering from migraines, the western side of things might offer prescription medication, while the eastern side will give you a referral to an acupuncturist, offer essential oils that might help, and prescribe medication. Neither of these sides is wrong, but what would happen if they worked together?

One of the first benefits, and perhaps the most important one, is that combining both minds allows for an integration of preventative and natural care. Western medicine is reactive. It involves diagnosing an issue and developing a plan to treat that issue.

Eastern Medicine, on the other hand, looks at a bigger picture, taking the body as a whole and considering all the systems. This approach is like throwing out a fishing net rather than a fishing pole. You will work on more than one thing at a time, even though you might not have named more than one thing to work on. Eastern Medicine believes everything is connected and will, therefore, benefit from treatment on all sides.

As more research is conducted, more and more medical professionals believe that the holistic approach to things has merit. And when combined with Western traditions, our ability to treat the body as a whole can provide longer sustainability, increased mental health, and overall better well-being.

There is still a long way to go, but the progress that has been made is substantial. Consider another common ailment. When preventing or fighting the common cold or flu, how can the two sides work together? The various approaches are laid out below.

Western Medicine
– Wash your hands frequently
– Get a flu shot
– Take over-the-counter meds for aches and pains
– If the symptoms continue, get a prescription from your physician
– Drink fluids
– Rest

Eastern Medicine
– Keep warm
– Maintain a healthy diet
– Rest
– Drink warm tea
– If conditions worsen, consider acupuncture

Integrative Medicine
– Wash your hands frequently
– Get a flu shot
– Choose healthy foods, including foods with Vitamin D
– Drink or take elderberry supplements

By blending the two, you get the best of both worlds. And, by focusing on preventative methods, you may be able to bypass the cold and flu altogether.