What Does Holistic Health Mean?

February 28, 2018

Many people today are interested in holistic health but don’t know exactly what the term means?  In this article I’ll explain the term and do a deep dive into the holistic health movement and how you can use holistic health practitioners to complement traditional medical care.

Holistic health is a different form of healthcare to the traditional medical model.  The different therapies are practiced usually outside the scope of traditional medical practice.  However, it should be noted that they are slowly gaining more and more scientific research.  Medical acupuncture is a strong case in point.

The term holistic come from the Greek word Holos, which basically means total.  One way of looking at holistic health is that it aims to treat the whole person as opposed to specific symptoms that GPs have traditionally only focused on.  Another way of thinking about it, is that integrative GPs or practitioners aim to treat the root cause of the problem not merely the symptoms.

This basic idea dates all the way back to the philosopher Aristotle who states that the whole was more important than the individual parts.  In other words, the system is king and will determine how the individual parts behave.


Holistic Health

So what is the focus or point of holistic health?  Generally speaking your doctor (who is holistically trained) will focus on the whole person.  Oftentimes they will choose to also incorporate emotional and psychological aspects of disease as well.

For a lot of its true believers, Holistic Health is very much a way of life.  They will very much choose to eat the right foods, consult the relevant allied health providers and have a very strong and deep relationship with their GP.  This is very different to the standard GPs role.  Whereby they look at the problem in a short 10-15 minute consultation and often prescribe medications to deal with it.  Generally speaking they will not speak to the person about how they can manage their health or natural approaches to solving it.

Generally speaking holistic practitioners will have longer appointments and see their patients more frequently and have more contact with allied health providers as well.  This doesn’t mean that traditional medicine is wrong, it is very much a different approach.


What About Sleep?

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health that we often fail to get right and underpins good health.  Why is it so important?  It allows our cells  to grow and repair.  It also helps our immune system, endocrine system and entric nervous systems as well.  Of course cognitive and emotional function is dramatically improved when we are well rested.

Sleep is also highly correlated with our mental health functioning.  Of course mental health is also influenced by our thinking habits and what we choose to eat as well.


Holistic Lifestyle Retreats

Sometimes individuals will choose to go on a detox program or a retreat.  The idea is that you are able to be supported by like minded people who can help you on your health journey.  There are many treats that you are able to go on.  A simple google search will provide a number of different options.  Generally speaking these retreats are done in small groups of 5-10 people.  They will focus on all the different aspects of health.  For example, their may be nutritional sessions, yoga, meditation etc.  During the course of the retreat nutritional food and beverages will be served.  The challenge for people is to continue this lifestyle when they return to their normal life.

If you would like to know more about holistic health or integrative medicine you can make an appointment to see one of our highly trained practitioners. Call us on (07) 3857 3777 or email [email protected].