Advertisement

Are complementary and alternative therapies holistic?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Most complementary and alternative therapies are holistic. They view the patient as an entire being, in which all systems are related and interdependent. With this approach, specific diseases are seen not as isolated to a particular organ, but as symptomatic of a broader imbalance throughout the body. In many of these traditions, effective healing must take place on the emotional and spiritual levels as well as in the body for lasting health to be restored.

Dr. Christopher Maloney, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

I think the issue is that both complementary and alternative therapies should be holistic. In the proper context, any primary care visit should be holistic in nature as well. But as time constraints have limited PCP visits to "one issue" we start to see the same sort of constraints edging in on both complementary and alternative practitioners. If your chiropractor sees you for three minutes, that is not a holistic visit. If you never speak to your acupuncturist, the fact that the care you receive is alternative does not make it encompassing.

As an alternative practitioner I constantly have to take a step back and ask if we are addressing the entire person rather than a shoulder or a symptom. And that is with an hour spent per patient, and an hour-and-a-half for new patients. Anything less, and I don't know how you would really even do a cursory overview of the entire person.

As insurance becomes more accepting, I see the double-edged sword of reimbursement making visits more available and less comprehensive. In fifteen minutes, it is hard to allow the emotions time to express and the spirit freedom to explore.

Continue Learning about Alternative Medicine

5 Home Remedies Your Mom Was Actually Right About
5 Home Remedies Your Mom Was Actually Right About
Keep warm to avoid a cold or gargle with salt water to relieve a sore throat—these are just a few of the remedies your mom has suggested at one time o...
Read More
Is preventive medicine the same as alternative medicine?
Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPHDr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Unlike preventive medicine, a more conventional medicine specialty, alternative medicine is not as s...
More Answers
What safety measures should I take during hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
For your comfort and safety, please:Provide a complete list of all your current medications, includi...
More Answers
Dr. Michael Breus's Guided Imagery Meditation
Dr. Michael Breus's Guided Imagery Meditation

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.