I’m writing this for anyone like me, anyone that needs to know what things mean and how things work before being willing to get involved, and especially before paying for anything. I remember going to people that practiced alternative health methods when I was little, and nobody ever told what they were doing or the mechanism behind it or even why they were prescribing the treatments that they were. It seemed like they were just making things up that weren’t based on anything. I think that if you can’t explain what you are doing and why, you don’t know enough about what you are doing.
So what does it mean? Holistic means that you look at health from a global view or from all angles, instead of just one piece individually. This allows practitioners to acknowledge that all the pieces of your health don’t exist in separate containers away from all other areas of your life but instead, interact and affect each other. For example, say you have been diagnosed with clinical depression. On the surface, this is just a mental health concern. Holistic health looks at how to support your mental health through regular exercise, healthy eating, managing daily stress, etc. But your life is filled with unique challenges, and often already very full. You might hate going to the gym, you work long hours sitting at a desk working on a computer when you get home you don’t want to cook and all you want to do is relax and zone out. It’s my job to find solutions that work for your life.
This is a strategy that many health care providers are starting to take. Practitioners often work in healthcare teams with each teammate looking out for a different area of the patient’s health. I myself had to take multiple classes on how to work in a healthcare team. One of the most important things to know when it comes to working in a team is where your scope of practice ends and where your teammates’ begins. I work mostly on the preventative side of health. This means that I try to help you get healthier before you develop an illness or have an injury so that hopefully you can avoid it altogether. My methods are based on scientific evidence and I’m always happy to explain them. I do not diagnose health issues, or prescribe medications. Those things are outside of my scope of practice. That’s not saying that I can’t work with people that have health issues. I do work with them, as one part of the team with their other care providers using lifestyle and environmental interventions. This means I work with you to find practical ways to make your life support your health, through physical activity, diet, stress management, sleep, and connection to other people. If there are health concerns, I work with the recommendations and prescriptions of doctors, mental health providers, and anyone else you are working with to optimize your health.