The definition of holistic or alternative or complimentary medicine concurs with the description given by the World Health Organization. The WHO ascertains that health is a state of complete well-being at the physical, mental, and social level. In a holistic method of treatment, the approach to two patients suffering from the same disease can be different — it advocates personalized and targeted remedies. Conventional Western medicine or Allopathy defines health as the absence of diseases. It advocates a more standard approach to the treatment of health disorders.
How the two forms of treatment work
Conventional approach: The conventional system of medicine uses allopathic medicines for the treatment of diseases. The patient is evaluated on the basis of his medical history. This is clubbed with a physical examination of the patient and the results of various tests which are performed at the laboratory.
Conventional treatment enterprises of drugs which suppress the body's natural immune responses. People who resort to this method seek treatment only when the illness strikes. Here there is very little scope for any kind of preventive treatment. Conventional medicine considers biochemical imbalances, pathogens, bacteria and viruses to be the main cause of any kind of illness. The procedure for treating serious and life threatening diseases is highly therapeutic.
Common methods of treatment followed by practitioners of conventional medicine include drugs, surgery and radiation. Diet, physiotherapy and exercise, and stress management are part of the conventional method of treatment.
Alternative approach: In the holistic or alternative method of treatment, health is seen as a balance of the body's emotional, mental and spiritual states. Practitioners of the holistic system of treatment see the three aspects as interrelated. A disruption or disharmony in any of these states is believed to cause illness.
The holistic form of medicine considers the human body as being equipped to resist diseases and heal any injury it suffers. Patients are empowered to heal themselves by addressing the underlying causes of their disease. The treatment includes a wide range of therapies which help the body reinvigorate its own defense mechanism. After treatment, patients are advised to incorporate changes in their lifestyles for complete well being.
The holistic form of treatment is more cost effective in comparison to its orthodox counterpart. This form has produced effective results for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, cardiac ailments, asthma and a many other disorders. Holistic or alternative medicine lays stress on preventing the disease, rather than focus on the symptoms. The methods implemented assist self-healing, allowing your body to return to its earlier healthy self. Treatments using the holistic form of medicine yield slow, yet sustained results. They do not cause dangerous side effects either.
Growing popularity of alternative medicine
Different forms of alternative medicine and remedies, including yoga and meditation are becoming quite popular. This is the result of a growing dissatisfaction in the consequences and side effects of expensive conventional treatment. But those who stand by the conventional form of treatment have raised doubts about the authenticity of holistic medical practitioners. A few doubts have also been raised with regard to any possible side effects of natural products, when they are not administrated in the right proportions.