Today is National Holistic Pet Day. In honor of that, we wanted to take a moment to help you understand what “Holistic” means.
Holistic Medicine is founded in the concept of Holism. Holism focuses on the total entity and the interdependence of its parts. The whole is different (and greater) than the sum of its parts, and the individual parts cannot exist without the whole. Holistic medicine looks at all aspects of the body and how they are connected (physical body, mind, emotions and spirit, as opposed to conventional medicine that looks at each individual part exclusive of the impact it has on other parts.
Why Choose Holistic Medicine?
Entire books have been written to answer this question, but here are some very basic reasons why.
- As with anything, if done incorrectly, it could be dangerous; but with holistic approaches, when done correctly, there are no long-term side-effects that cause additional problems (think about the “side effect disclaimers” on medications or the complications caused by one conventional treatment that then require you to have additional/different treatments).
- Drugs used in conventional medicine are often derived from herbs and foods. Why not just use the direct form and eliminate the side-effects of the pharmaceutical drug?
- The test of time. Most of the holistic modalities have been around longer (much longer) than their conventional counter-parts. Why wouldn’t you want to use something that has proven effective for 100s, if not 1000s, of years?
- Empowerment and involvement. You are an active participant, and often times, you are in control. There aren’t “years of scientific training” involved and you don’t necessarily have to have letters after your name to understand the concepts. Many are simply based on Nature.
- Cost. Often times, choosing holistic medicine will save you money, both up front and in long-term expenses.
Holistic Modalities (Methods) of Healing
Each of these practices represents a different method of holistic healing. While there are many more, these are some of the most commonly used. Many are used in conjunction with others to achieve healing and optimal health. At Fido’s Market, we utilize many of these modalities to help your pet, but can also refer you to a specialist for a specific modality that we are not trained in.
- Nutrition (BB). The foundation of all health. Feeding a species-appropriate diet and using whole foods to fill in nutritional gaps rather than synthetic supplements. There is no greater place to start in healing the body than feeding it what it needs. “Let food be thy medicine.” ~Hippocrates
- Herbal Therapy (BB, TCM). The use of plants to prevent and treat disease, and balance the body on an individual basis. One of the oldest forms of medicine utilized in the world.
- Homeopathy (ET). Medical practice based on the Law of Similars (“Like Cures Like”); a disease is cured by a medicine that creates the symptoms the individual is experiencing.
- Aromatherapy/Essential Oils (BB). The use of natural oils extracted from herbs and flowers to enhance physical and psychological well-being.
- Acupuncture/Acupressure (TCM, PM, ET). Practice of inserting needles (or applying pressure) to specific points on the body to manipulate the flow of energy. A truly holistic practitioner will take into account the “whole” person, not just a specific symptom and a session will typically include full-body, not just one area.
- Flower Essences (ET). Herbal infusions made from flowers, wood and bark that uniquely address emotional and mental aspects of wellness. The energetic imprints of the life force of plants interact with the energy of an individual.
- Osteopathy (PM). Physical manipulation consisting of moving, stretching and massaging muscles, organs and joints; the treatments help realign the body into its correct position so that it can work to heal itself.
- Chiropractic (PM). Physical manipulation of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system.
- Massage (PM). Physical manipulation of the muscular structure and soft tissues; a variety of techniques are used to stimulate blood flow to encourage healing and to provide physical relief.
- Cranial-sacral (PM). A non-invasive physical therapy involving slight movement of the bones of the head, spinal column and sacrum.
- Thermal Nature of Foods (TCM, BB). The understanding that every food has a thermal nature (hot, neutral, cool) and it’s impact on the body’s ability to heal itself. This does not refer to the state (or current temperature) of food but rather its effect on the body.
- Reiki (ET). A Japanese technique for stress reduction that also promotes the body’s ability to heal itself. If our “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
(PM) Physical Manipulation
(TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine
(ET) Energy Therapy
(BB) Biologically Based Therapy