Excerpts from Healing Choices
Your Guide to Complementary and Alternative HealthcareBookmark this site!
The purpose of “Healing Choices” is to help you learn the
(therapies) that are available to you.
The butterfly teaches us that patience brings its rewards and as
long as we keep working
What is Holistic Healthcare?
Holistic healthcare includes natural, alternative, integrative and complementary medicine. When alternative medicine is used with conventional medicine in a fully coordinated approach to patient care, this is referred to as complementary medicine, integrative medicine or holistic healthcare. Complementary, integrative and holistic healthcare is based on a physician-patient partnership in which both conventional and alternative modalities are used to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential. This enlightened approach to diagnosis and treatment brings together the best of all traditions and has the advantage of putting an increased emphasis on disease prevention and general wellness
Holistic healthcare addresses the whole person’s mind, body, and spirit in the healing process.
Holistic healthcare involves the everyday choices we make and actions we take as we strive to reach a higher level of personal wellness. A holistic approach to creating wellness includes taking charge of our own health by exploring a variety of life enhancing activities until we discover which ones work for us. While we think of holistic healthcare in terms of our personal actions for self-improvement, the same holistic principles can be used to deal with any disease or chronic condition. The holistic approach or philosophy can be applied to any healthcare healing tradition, whether conventional, complementary, or alternative.
The surge of interest in complementary and alternative medicine at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century is apparent from the increased use of alternative healthcare therapies by patients. More people are combining conventional medicine and alternative treatments in their search for better health and wellness. The increasing demand for these treatments stems, in part, from the public's concerns regarding the accessibility of healthcare, its rising costs, and the view that conventional medicine often has of disease. Holistic practitioners do not want passive patients; they teach their patients to take responsibility for their own health. This approach tends to be cost-effective in the treatment and prevention of illness or disease and is essential for optimal health.
As complementary medicine becomes more popular, distinctions between it and conventional (western) medicine will become clearer. Today there is an increasing trend in our society to look outside the usual, old, conventional medicine, also referred to as Western or allopathic medicine, to find answers for healthcare problems. Conventional medicine is still preferred in the treatment of trauma and emergencies. For example; if you have a broken arm, you would have the bone set by a conventional doctor. Then you might seek a complementary method of therapy instead of drugs to help manage the pain.
A therapy is referred to as complementary when it is used in addition to conventional treatment. Alternative therapy is used instead of conventional treatment. Alternative practitioners often find that symptoms are related to seemingly distant causes, such as toxicity, digestion, or mental and emotional health. When such causes are discovered, treatment can be determined. Complementary and alternative therapies—referred to as modalities—are used to prevent illness, reduce stress, prevent or reduce side effects of conventional treatments and symptoms, and control or cure disease.
Healing is not just about curing. It takes much more than medicine and machinery to fully heal a person. Learn more about Healing Choices
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) classifies complementary and alternative medicine therapies into five categories:
Complementary and alternative medicine are now being accepted and integrated into conventional healthcare. There is an increasing interest by physicians and hospitals in addressing growing consumer demands for non-conventional healthcare practices. But to those unfamiliar with complementary and alternative medicine, the variety of modalities can be confusing. It is difficult to know what type of treatment is right for you and your particular health challenge.
In April of 2000, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition to feeling devastated, I found myself frustrated and confused. I wanted more than conventional medicine could offer me, but I didn’t know anything about complementary or alternative treatments. I did, however, have time to do some research prior to having surgery. I found information, but it was too complex for me to understand at the time I needed it so badly. As I stood beside other people looking for answers on the shelves of books in the bookstores or libraries, I felt overwhelmed by the volume of information. I soon realized that I was not alone. After many months of research I found my own answers, but soon I realized that there was nothing in one publication or one Internet site that gave all the information I needed to make an informed decision about my healthcare. I needed a guide.
After three years of research I created this guide to help you avoid the confusion and frustration I felt and to provide you with the information that you need for your healthcare decisions.
This guide is not a book that you might read from cover to cover. It’s a mini-encyclopedia of alternative healthcare modalities and information. It is also a work in progress.
These are the things I know today. Tomorrow I am going to learn more.
The Healing Choices guide is available in PRINTED VERSION and E-BOOK.
This website will
continue to provide current information, new internet links and books as they
Excerpts from Healing Choices