If you are unsure about working with an alternative practitioner, you are not alone. Many people are sceptical of anything that is unfamiliar and it is natural for us to be wary of what we don’t understand.
However, more and more people are looking for an integrative approach to their health and healing, one that combines scientific based medicine with more holistic methods.
First, let’s understand what defines a ‘holistic practitioner’. They go by many names; non-traditional practitioner, holistic healer, alternative or complementary therapist. And they may use many different modalities, from herbalism to kinesiology, from pranic healing to chakra balancing. The common thread is their overall approach to health and healing. Holistic practitioners look at health in a holistic way; they see the mind, body and spirit as an integrative whole.
Mainstream medicine tends to see the body as a collection of separate systems, with specialists looking at a particular area in isolation. While being very focused and allowing for a deep knowledge of a particular system, this method often misses the complexity and intricate interactions that happen within the body.
The wisdom of holistic healing is based largely on empirical knowledge – meaning that the information is obtained from observation. This approach is as old as humanity, but for some, this lack of scientific data devalues the therapy. Although the holistic approach may not have scientific proof, it has centuries of empirical evidence to back it up.
The aim of the holistic practitioner is also somewhat different to the mainstream medical approach. A holistic practitioner seeks to restore balance by supporting and nurturing the body’s natural functions. Rather than suppressing symptoms, the aim is to address the underlying cause of an illness or disease. This is one of the reasons why the body has to be looked at as a whole. Taking this approach means that although results are not usually immediate, they are often long lasting.
Energy is an unseen force that flows around and through each and every one of us. It can be found in every cell, every nerve and hormone in our body. Not only is it in our body, it also surrounds us. We’ve all experienced the feel of a place or a person. It is what makes us instantly like some people, and feel repelled by others. There are some places we feel comfortable in, and others we can’t wait to leave. This is all based on energy. It is not measurable, it is not quantifiable, and yet each of us has experienced it.
Although it is unseen, it can affect our health. The energy of emotions can cause physical symptoms. For example, when you are feeling angry you may get a headache. Or if you are anxious you may become nauseous. This is why if we only treat the symptoms, and do not address the underlying cause, it will do very little to fix the problem in the long-term.
Holistic therapists often use energy healing to activate the body’s subtle energy systems to remove deep-seated blocks. By breaking through these energetic blocks, the body’s inherent ability to heal itself is stimulated.
Energy healing can take the form of many different types of modalities. For example: meditation, chakra balancing, Reiki, Qigong, yoga, prana breath work, kinesiology, E.F.T., chi balancing and many others.
True healing happens when both our energetic body and our physical bodies are in alignment and working together. In our modern world, we tend to be disconnected from our energy. We ignore, suppress, or eliminate problems, rather than being curious about how they came about in the first place.
Unfortunately, when we disregard the energy behind the issue, and only aim to remove the symptoms, we never get to the cause of the issue. We may feel better in the short term, but one problem is replaced with another.
By integrating both the holistic and mainstream approach, a practitioner is able to treat both the symptoms, and the foundational causes of a disease.
Many doctors and mainstream medical personnel are seeing the value of techniques which use the energetic forces of the body. Studies on the effects of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, have proven the beneficial effects of these therapies.
– mindfulness on cancer survival – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27189614
– mediation on burnout – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28634520
– yoga on brain health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28694775
– spiritual practices on mental health – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26200715
The body is an intricate complex structure, and a practitioner with access to both mainstream and holistic medical philosophies, can provide a more complete therapeutic service.
By seeing the body as a whole, and treating underlying causes not just symptoms, they are able to work with their patients to achieve true health, rather than just provide disease management.