Holistic medicine is all about believing in the importance of healing the entire person instead of the specific illness, certain body parts, or symptoms. Holistic comes from the Greek word “holos” which means whole. Emotions, environment, and lifestyle can play a role in health just as much as medicine can. A doctor can say that a health problem cannot be solved until you heal your emotions or the patient is removed from the toxic environment. The history of holistic medicine goes back 5,000 years ago before medicinal treatments came into the picture.
There are different types of herbal medicine practices such as Ayurveda which originated in India in 6th century B.C. by Sushruta known as “the father of surgery.” It focuses on the five elements of the universe, the seven elements of the body, and the three “doshas” or biological energies that each element represents. Herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care where you achieve holistic balance and learn about the medicinal properties of plants. Western herbalism originated in Ancient Greece and Rome, then spread to Europe, then North and South America.
Hippocrates was known as the father of medicine in 4th century B.C. and was the first one to encourage self-healing of the body. Physicians began to pay less attention to holistic medicine after it was discovered that germs were the cause of diseases. The emphasis was placed solely on symptoms and conditions and that medicine was the solution for everything. It was discovered later that not all medicine can cure diseases and many scientific treatments had failed. Holistic medicine came back to teach others about living a healthy lifestyle, environmental factors, and emotional health.
The modern Western holistic movement began in the late 1960s as people thought modern medicine focused too much on drugs and medical technology for diagnosing and treating diseases. Holistic practitioners have the same degrees as traditional doctors but might get additional training in herbal therapies, nutrition, and environmental hazards. The first National Conference on Holistic Health came in California in 1975, the Holistic Medical Association came in 1978, and the American Holistic Nurses Association came in 1981. Holistic medicine has been used in nutrition, massage therapy, chiropractic medicine, homeopathic medicine, and acupuncture. How we feel mentally can affect how we feel physically and it is important to be able to control both in order to live a healthy life.
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