Modern medicine focuses on treating the illness or effective body part whereas holistic medicine puts emphasis on healing the entire body. The word Holistic is derived from the Greek word “holos” which means whole referring to the fact that holistic medicine believes in treating the whole person not just the physical illness but also the emotional wellbeing. Holistic medicine existed way before the medicinal treatments were introduced and it is being practiced for roughly over 5,000 years
There are several different types of holistic health care with the oldest being herbal medicine in which herbs and plants are solely used for creating medicines and treatment tries to achieve holistic balance in the body. Herbalism traces back to ancient Greece and Rome, which was later spread to Europe and then taken to North and South America. Next most popular type was originated in India in around 6th century B.C. And is called Ayurveda. It was introduced by Sushruta who is commonly known as “the father of Surgery” and it primarily relies on the five elements of the universe, seven elements of the body and three biological energies also called “doshas” represented by each element.
In 4th century B.C., Self-healing capability of body was introduced by Hippocrates who is also knows as the father of medicine. Holistic medicine was highly admired in the beginning but once it was established that germs and bacteria’s are the main cause of diseases, it lost the popularity among the physicians. They believed that symptoms and condition help in finding the disease which can only be cured through medicine. However, after medicine failed to cure several diseases, people started looking at alternative treatments and holistic medicine became relevant again. It taught others about living a healthy lifestyle, environmental factors, and emotional health. Holistic techniques can even be of assistance during alcohol rehab.
By the end of 1960’s, people began to realize that modern medicine emphasises too much on drugs and technology for treatment and thus begun the rise of holistic movement and its practitioners. They possess similar degrees as their modern medicine counterparts, but they need to go through additional training in herbal therapies, nutrition and environmental hazards. Since then holistic medicine has been very progressive over the next few decades and reached several milestones including the first nation conference on holistic health in 1975, followed by the formation of holistic medical association in 1978 and American Holistic Nurses association in 1981.
Holistic medicine preaches that mental health is as important as physical health and the ability to control both leads to a healthy life. It has been successfully used in nutrition, massage therapy, chiropractic medicine, homeopathic medicine, and acupuncture as a part of the treatment, it’s for all these reasons that holistic approaches are often embraced by modern rehab clinic centers.