Holistic Medicine and Wellness Diagram

Holistic Medicine, Health and Wellness

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Are you curious about holistic medicine and wellness? If you are, this is the post for you. I recently finished a book by one of my favorite holistic medicine experts, Tieraona Low Dog. I learned so much about finding wellness through holistic methods while reading this book.

The book, called called Life is Your Best Medicine, helped me determine my healthcare philosophy. I think that when it comes to approaching my health, a balance of holistic and integrative medicine is key: a combination of learnings from modern science, natural therapies, and lifestyle choices. Not sure what these terms mean? Let’s talk briefly about definitions:

Definition of Holistic Medicine

According to the American Cancer Society, holistic medicine considers “how the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements of a person are interconnected to maintain health.” This approach incorporates all parts of the body, not just the illness or unhealthy part of the body.

Definition of Integrative Medicine

Providers that practice integrative or complementary medicine use both Western and Eastern philosophies. According to the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, this approach is “healing-oriented” and accounts for lifestyle. “It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies.”

Now that we have definitions out of the way, let me tell you about this book. First, when reading anything on health, wellness, or medicine, you want to make sure that the author is qualified and has expertise in the subject your’e learning about. That’s why I love Dr. Low Dog’s writing so much. She has a diverse health background: she received a medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, she was a midwife, has studied traditional and herbal medicine, and she has even practiced massage therapy. Her views on health and healing are holistic – she integrates learnings from her background to promote wellness. And, that’s what this book is all about. It outlines different strategies to keep you healthy, happy, and well.

Dr. Low Dog approaches holistic health in four ways:

1. The Medicine of My Life
Reviewing her own journey to becoming an expert in integrative medicine. Dr. Low Dog shows that wellness can be achieved through a combination of traditional, modern, and alternative medical techniques. I have found this to be true in my own wellness journey – I get a lot of benefit from eating well, being active, practicing mindfulness and yoga, and giving myself time to rest. All of these things complement my preventive care visits to my primary care provider, and going to an appropriate healthcare specialist when I am sick.

2. Honoring the Body
Being healthy means eating healthful food, getting plenty physical activity, enjoying enough sleep, and using herbal techniques. Physical health is not the only thing, but focussing on simple approaches can help you along your journey to wellness.

3. Awakening the Senses
You might not always think of the ways that touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing can have an impact on our wellbeing. It was a great reminder to me that the beauty of the natural world (aka getting outside) is great for my emotional wellness. And, being mindful of all of your senses can help bring joy to everyday experiences.

4. Listening to Spirit
Dr. Low Dog’s writings on listening to the spirit taught me way more than I knew about ways to achieve health and wellbeing. It focussed on ways that our relationships with others, ourselves, and the world around us can impact our lives. It was a great reminder to focus on mindfulness.

Have you read anything written about holistic medicine and wellness? Tell me your favorite experts in the comments!

Holistic Medicine and Wellness Diagram

PS – this post does include an affiliate link to Dr. Low Dog’s book (meaning if you click and buy, I get a small commission), but I wasn’t asked to write this post by anyone. Also, if you are interested in learning more from Dr. Low Dog, I also recommend her book Healthy at Home.

© 2017 Caitlin W Howe, LLC
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