Often time holistic medicine is used to describe medicine that takes into account the person’s medical, physical, nutritional, environmental, social, emotional and spiritual well-being. Many times the term is used when people speak of alternative medicine or natural medicine only. Other times it is used in conjunction with medical treatment that involves surgery, medications and other routine medical procedures.

The types of things that are included in holistic approaches are acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, guided imagery and aromatherapy. None of these therapies are new and some are ancient. What is important to remember is like Western Medicine,  there is no “one size fits all” approach to healing.

Almost all physicians agree that holistic or alternative medicine works best in conjunction with modern medicine.  When used along side of western medicine alternative therapies can be used to enhance pain medicine, decrease anxiety and stress levels while promoting healing.

We all know there is no one magic bullet to healing. Our bodies are complex and our needs are even more complex and varied. What will work for some will not always work for others.  Those who try a multitude of different alternative therapies will find what they feel most comfortable with and in doing so will find their “sweet spot” to healing.

At our facilities when we introduced aroma therapy some of us were skeptical. As time passed and we became used to teaching it and seeing the difference it has made to our patients we became great proponents’ of this modality. Today it serves as one of three of our top alternative modalities that are patients enjoy. The other two being guided imagery and happy hour.

If there were one thing I would like people to understand as it relates to these types of therapy is this; it can’t hurt you and maybe, just maybe it will help you. So take a chance, keep an open mind and begin exploring  natural ways to feel better, and might I add, cost effective ways as well.

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