The current pill-for-every-ill framework is not sustainable, and certainly not desirable. Seeing my gran’s pills for the coming week makes me ill just looking at it, and I certainly don’t want my grandkids to see me swallow pills like rice. A systems approach to healthcare is required, if we’re to effectively manage the current disease epidemics (Cancer, Diabetes, Mental Illness and Heart Disease to name a few) that we’re facing as a society. I have no doubts that we’ll see a more Holistic, Systems based approach become the future of medicine.
This page will discuss the key concepts of holistic health, and (hopefully) convince you to take more natural and perhaps even ‘unconventional’ approaches more seriously.
I’d like to start with a list of therapies that are worth consideration and fast gathering momentum:
- Integrative Medicine – A purely systems based approach to your health.
- Nutritional Medicine – Everything you eat sends a signal throughout your body, and can even alter which genes are expressed. Knowing what effects food has on your body is an incredibly powerful biohacking technique.
- Mindfulness and Gratitude Practices – Harnessing the power of the mind can make or break you. It’s important to foster a balanced mind, and maintain your mental health.
- Microbiome Health – Your microbiome is many orders of magnitude more complex than your own inherited genetic material. Your gut flora alone has the power to make you feel vibrant and energetic, or curl up in a miserable ball. Promoting the right gut flora, and eliminating the wrong flora is crucial to your health in ways we’re only beginning to understand. So far we’re learning mostly about the gut, but i’m sure in the years to come our microbiome will shed light on many of our other health issues (skin, teeth, lungs).
- Physiotherapy/ Chiropractor/ Osteopath: Any ailment is likely to have a structure-function component and so some form of physical therapy is a key element of any good healthcare plan.
- Energy Medicine – We know that energy fields can disrupt sleep – think power lines, wind turbines. So why is it so far-fetched that you can affect change by applying or manipulating energy around the human body?
Holistic health really aims at finding and fixing the root cause of a medical condition, and correcting the root cause. This is in stark contrast to modern western medicine, where each symptom is treated in turn, til the patient is taking a cocktail of daily medication. This is clearly not a sustainable practice. Holistic Medicine is an inherently sustainable approach to healthcare.
Below are some basic reasons that traditional western medicine may not be the most appropriate way to reach your health goals (listed in order of increasing importance).
- Drugs are approved on the statistical basis that they help the average person. You are most certainly not the average person. What helps one person enormously may react violently with your body, but on average that drug is approved as effective – with side-effects.
- Medication is expensive. You need to eat anyway – so why not fuel yourself with the best food to begin with and avoid the illness if you can?
- The root cause is almost always left untreated – so you are unlikely to just get better.
Now I’m not suggesting that cancer patients stop taking their medication, or that anyone turns against their doctor. There is clearly a balance between drugs for acute medical care, and a more natural sustainable approach for achieving long term health outcomes. Hopefully this article challenges your assumptions and encourages you to be a more active participant in your health related decisions.
What are your thoughts on Holistic Healthcare?
Leave a comment and let us know what you think.