Dr. Mark LaBeau - Holistic Doctor in San Diego, California
Holistic medicine is a whole-body approach to healthcare. It aims to improve health and wellness through the body, mind, and soul. Usually, holistic medicine integrates conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Your exact treatment plan will depend on the kind of holistic specialty. There are several kinds of holistic practitioners. Some are physicians with a medical degree. They might base their treatments on holistic concepts, which makes them a holistic doctor.
Other holistic practitioners are not "real" medical doctors. They might be called "doctor" in their field, however they aren't licensed to practice medicine.
In general, holistic medicine isn't meant to be used instead of conventional medical care. It's generally suggested as a complement to regular treatments.
Principles of Holistic Medicine
Holistic medicine is based on multiple core values:
- good health is a mixture of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social wellness
- prevention first, treatment second
- disease is caused by a problem with the entire body, instead of a single event or body part
- the goal of treatment is to fix the underlying source of disease, instead of simply improving the symptoms
- treatment consists of a wide range of options, including education, self-care, CAM, and conventional medicine
- a person is not defined by their disorder
- the relationship between a doctor and the patient being treated determines the treatment outcome
What is a Holistic Doctor?
A holistic doctor is a health professional who practices holistic medicine. Common types of holistic practitioners include:
An osteopath, or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), is a licensed physician that treats health problems with osteopathic manipulative medicine. This type of medicine involves physically manipulating the musculoskeletal system.
The concept is that the musculoskeletal system, which includes your muscles, bones, and nerves, impacts the entire body.
Like a doctor of medicine (MD), an osteopath is a medical doctor. They are licensed to practice medicine.
Both MDs and DOs attend medical school, pick a specialty, and complete a residency. They take the same exam to become a licensed doctor.
When treating a condition, MDs and DOs utilize traditional treatments. However some DOs might incorporate musculoskeletal manipulation, unlike traditional MDs.
Integrative physicians are licensed medical doctors who have an integrative approach to healthcare. This involves combining traditional treatments with CAM.
Integrative medicine is meant to be used with traditional medical care. It can also involve a variety of therapies.
There isn't a formal degree for becoming an integrative physician. Instead, a person attends medical school, becomes a licensed physician, then receives training or experience in CAM. They can also become board certified in integrative medicine.
An Ayurvedic doctor uses Ayurveda to treat health conditions. Ayurveda is an ancient system of Indian medicine. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means "knowledge of life."
Practitioners believe health problems are due to imbalanced doshas, or life energies. Ayurveda intends to balance these doshas through alternative treatments, diet, herbal remedies, as well as lifestyle changes.
In India, Ayurvedic medicine is a primary system of medical care. Practitioners complete professional, standardized training at an Ayurvedic school to become Ayurvedic doctors.
However, in the U.S., there isn't a nationwide license or certification for Ayurvedic practitioners. Ayurvedic doctors aren't recognized as medical doctors.
A naturopathic physician, or doctor of naturopathic medicine (ND), is trained in naturopathic medicine.
This system of medicine combines Western science, natural therapies, and holistic approaches to treat medical conditions. Natural therapies may be used as both primary and complementary therapies.
Naturopathic doctors go to a naturopathic medical college, where they learn the same coursework as traditional medical doctors. They also take a professional board exam to become licensed, but they aren't recognized as medical doctors.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner - Holistic Doctor in San Diego
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is an ancient type of Chinese medicine.
According to TCM, everyone has a life force, or qi. Good health depends on a balanced or flowing qi. However if the qi becomes imbalanced or blocked, the result is disease. The objective of TCM is to balance qi with acupuncture, herbal medicine, and lifestyle treatments.
In the U.S., TCM practitioners are individuals that practice acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine.
Training involves 3 to 4 years of education and a certification exam. Some institutions offer degrees like doctor of Oriental medicine. However, these degrees aren't recognized as medical doctor degrees.
What Does a Holistic Doctor Do That a Traditional Doctor Does Not?
Generally, conventional doctors treat symptoms. They provide medical solutions to relieve a disease.
A holistic physician treats the body as one. They try to identify the source behind the disease, as opposed to just fixing the symptoms. This could require several treatments.
Types of Holistic Medicine Treatments
There are several types of holistic treatments. Depending on your doctor's specialty, your treatment plan might involve:
Educational treatment shows you how to make lifestyle changes. This includes habits and self-care techniques that may help your condition.
Treatments might include:
- nutrition counseling
- dietary supplements
- tai chi
- support groups
Holistic Doctor in San Diego
Your holistic doctor might also conduct or prescribe particular therapies. Examples include:
- herbal remedies
- music therapy
A lot of holistic practitioners combine traditional Western medicine with the treatments above. They could suggest traditional options like:
- prescription medicine
- radiation therapy