Holistic Health: A Comprehensive Approach to Health Care

Holistic health represents a comprehensive approach to health care, focusing on the whole person rather than just treating specific symptoms or diseases. It integrates physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all aspects of an individual's health.

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Holistic Health: A Comprehensive Approach to Health Care
5 Min Read November 22nd, 2023

Have you ever wondered why some people struggle with health problems for years without finding relief? They visit multiple doctors and try various remedies, but none seem to ease the pain. Maybe they need a different, more holistic approach. 

The principles of holistic medicine have long existed in some societies but have only recently entered the mainstream American consciousness. Once the stuff of "alternative" healing, many methods are now widely accepted and recommended by Western physicians as part of a total treatment protocol. What is holistic health? Let's take a closer look at this comprehensive approach to health care.

What Is Holistic Health? 

The definition of holistic health can be found in its pronunciation — It rhymes with "whole." Holistic practitioners recognize that multiple factors influence a person's health, including their genetics, lifestyle, emotional state, environment, and access to resources. 

Traditional Western medicine techniques involve treating symptoms. However, such modalities sometimes fail because they don't address the underlying issues — they simply place a bandaid on the wound. When something disrupts that protective barrier, the patient regresses, sometimes quickly. 

For example, a patient presents with chronic headaches. Traditional tests fail to pinpoint a diagnosis. As a result, their doctor prescribes medication after medication, none of which brings relief. 

A holistic practitioner who takes a deeper dive into all the factors behind the symptom might discover: 

  • A childhood trauma history that predisposes the patient to chronic pain
  • Broken teeth from lack of access to dental care 
  • Extreme stress that causes bruxism 

While medications like Imitrex might ease acute headache pain, it comes roaring back the moment the patient discontinues use. A traditional approach might even make things worse by causing rebound headaches, which can lead to drug abuse. Fixing or pulling the patient's teeth and teaching stress management are far more effective and potentially less expensive treatment protocols.

Benefits of Holistic Health

The above example highlights holistic medicine's primary benefit—finding and addressing the underlying issues. However, there are additional perks that deserve notice. 

  1. Saves Time and Money 

Health care is expensive. It's not just the cost of the copays but the time away from work that drives up the medical bankruptcy rate in the U.S. However, multiple underlying causes can create similar symptoms, and many of them don't warrant intensive hospital or specialist treatment. 

For example, someone with arthritis could spend a small fortune on biologics, and in some cases, they need such medications. However, many more patients do better with holistic interventions, such as: 

  • Assistive devices like wrist and knee supports 
  • An anti-inflammatory diet 
  • Movement therapy, like aquacise and yoga 
  1. Conserves Personal and Collective Resources 

Traditional approaches can leave you spending a fortune on fixes that don't work. For example, multi-step skincare regimes are all the rage on social media, but that doesn't make them effective. Many times, they backfire, causing increased redness and irritation while draining your pocketbook. Trying one natural product at a time and sticking with what works is a far better strategy. 

Exploring holistic interventions also frees up collective resources. It's tough to become a doctor for a good reason, but this reality means there's a shortage. Every patient who takes up a specialist's time unnecessarily results in someone else going without needed care, especially in rural areas where appointments can take months to get. 

  1. Accessible to Anyone 

It's no secret that the economically disadvantaged often go without health care in the United States. They may lack insurance coverage, copay money, the ability to take time away from work — or all three. 

Holistic interventions such as dietary modifications, exercise, and stress management are available to nearly anyone. While some modalities, like massage, cost money, the fees pale, besides hospital bills.

5 Ways to Incorporate Holistic Health Principles Into Your Life 

If you want to reap the benefits of holistic health, you can get started today. Here are five ways to incorporate these principles into your life. 

  1. Create Daily Check-In Rituals 

These little rituals can be things you do anyway, such as brushing your teeth and washing your face before bed. The difference is the mindset shift while you do so. Use this time to check in with your body, mind, and emotions. Ask yourself: 

  • Are there any areas that are sore or tight? Do a quick body scan and breathe into the tension. 
  • Is there anything on your mind that may affect your physical health? 
  • How is your emotional state? Accept it, validate it ("I feel pretty low today"), then mindfully examine how you can improve it if necessary. For example, if you feel sad, perhaps cuddling your pet before bed can lift your spirits. 
  1. Move Your Body 

Exercise is crucial to keeping your body working as intended at any age. Multiple studies show that it reduces mental health symptoms, lowers levels of stress hormones, develops balance, coordination, and stamina, and improves cardiovascular health. 

Find something that you love and commit to it daily. Write it in your planner — consider it part of your self-care time. Get creative if you must. For example, your busy schedule might preclude a 30-minute workout, but you can sneak in ten minutes of yoga upon waking and before going to bed, punctuated by a nice walk on your lunch break. 

  1. Eat for Your Unique Self 

Part of holistic health entails evaluating all the factors that influence your health. Certain foods can exacerbate pain and worsen health conditions, while others help. The trick is to find out what plagues you the most and tailor your diet accordingly. 

For example: 

  • People who struggle with depression may find relief by adding more foods high in magnesium to their diets, like nuts and seeds. 
  • People who have high blood pressure should avoid salt and alcohol use. 
  • Women with reproductive and hormonal issues may ease their symptoms by adding lignan-rich foods like flax seeds to their diets. 
  1. Connect With Others in Your Community 

Loneliness is a modern epidemic, but people need other people to survive. Connecting with others in your community by joining support groups and participating in healthy activities defeats the isolation that can lead to despair. Additionally, it introduces you to others who share similar problems and may have solutions that work. 

  1. Meditate or Engage in Spiritual Practice 

Holistic health encompasses your mind, body, and spirit. However, you don't need a faith system to reap the benefits of regular meditation. All you need to do to calm your body and focus your mind is to quiet yourself, focus on your breath, and count. How far can you get before your thoughts distract you? 

This exercise heightens your powers of concentration while inducing calm. Of course, those who practice a religion can find solace in daily prayer. 

Comprehensive, Holistic Health 

Holistic health looks at all aspects of a patient's life to discover the underlying causes of their disease and distress. It encompasses mental, emotional, and social factors along with physical ones to diagnose and treat accurately. 

Fortunately, holistic health also offers many benefits for today's reality. It's accessible and affordable to more people and can prevent you from spending unnecessary time and money while restoring your wellness.

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About the Author

Beth Rush writes about various health and wellness topics, helping readers learn how to make healthy lifestyle choices and better enjoy their lives.

LTC News Contributor Beth Rush

Beth Rush

Contributor since August 9th, 2023

Editor's Note

Holistic health in aging encompasses more than just physical well-being; it integrates mental, emotional, and spiritual health, offering a comprehensive approach to care. This includes regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and proper medical screenings to maintain physical health while also addressing mental and emotional wellness through social activities, hobbies, and mental health support. 

Spiritual wellness, often centered around finding purpose and inner peace, plays a crucial role in providing strength and resilience. By embracing this balanced lifestyle, aging individuals can enjoy a higher quality of life and independence, with the support of family, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to meet their diverse needs.

Aging Happens

As you journey through life, it's essential to acknowledge that aging is an inevitable process that often brings a gradual decline in health, body, and mind. Despite your best efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there is a good chance there will come a time when you require long-term care. 

You, like many others, need to prepare for this reality. The decline associated with aging can lead to the necessity for assistance with daily living activities, supervision due to memory loss, or more specialized care, and this is where the importance of Long-Term Care Insurance becomes evident.

Quality care is essential, and naturally, you wouldn't want to place the burden of your care on your family. Long-Term Care Insurance can be a crucial part of your overall retirement plan, providing a safety net for such eventualities. 

By including it in your retirement plan, you protect not only your future retirement income and assets but also ensure that you have access to quality care when you need it. With Long-Term Care Insurance, you have the financial means to choose the type of care that best suits your needs, whether it be in-home care, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.

Moreover, the benefits from Long-Term Care Insurance are tax-free, offering additional financial relief. LTC Insurance eases the stress and burden on your loved ones, as they won't be faced with the full responsibility of being a caregiver impacting their lifestyle, family, and career. It allows them to be there for you as family rather than as caregivers, ensuring that your relationships are not strained by the demands of caregiving. 

In essence, obtaining Long-Term Care Insurance is a proactive step towards securing your well-being and preserving the well-being of those you love later in life.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Differ From Other Types Of Insurance?

Most people obtain coverage in their 40s or 50s. However, depending on your health, you can find affordable options in your 60s and beyond.

Consulting a Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist is Essential for Optimal LTC Policy Selection

When shopping for a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, consulting with a qualified LTC Insurance specialist is often the best course of action for several compelling reasons. First and foremost, LTC Insurance can be a complex product for both financial professionals and consumers, with various features, benefits, and options that can be challenging to navigate without expert guidance. 

A specialist has the expertise and experience to make it much easier and help you understand these complexities, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and financial situation.

A qualified LTC Insurance specialist is also well-versed in the latest industry trends, changes in underwriting standards, and the nuances of different insurance providers. In addition, there are federal and state regulations that will impact your options. This knowledge is crucial as it can significantly impact the cost and benefits of your policy. They will compare different policies from multiple carriers to find the one that offers the best coverage at the most reasonable price. 

Furthermore, they can personalize your plan, tailoring it to your unique circumstances, such as your health history, age, and retirement goals.

LTC Insurance premiums vary dramatically between insurance companies, as do their underwriting standards; an LTC Insurance specialist will be able to match your age, health, family history, and other factors to ensure you have the most coverage at the lowest cost. The specialist will provide you with accurate quotes from all the top-rated insurance companies offering these products. 

Discover Long-Term Care Planning Tools at LTC NEWS Resource's Hub

At LTC NEWS, a wealth of tools and resources awaits to guide you through the intricacies of long-term care planning. You can access an array of helpful features, including the innovative Cost of Long-Term Care Calculator, which helps you estimate future long-term care expenses across different settings and regions. 

Here are a few of the resources available on LTC NEWS:

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

LTC NEWS offers help for you and your family in many ways. The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory is an excellent resource where you can find the most comprehensive directory of all types of long-term care services no matter where your loved one lives - Long-Term Care Services Directory | Find Care Near You.

If your loved one has an LTC Insurance policy, that will open the door to many quality care options, as one of the first questions most home health agencies and long-term care facilities will ask you is if the care recipient has an LTC policy.

Be sure to use the benefits from a loved one's LTC policy; trying to save them for later is not a good approach since access to quality care improves a person's quality of life immediately.

LTC NEWS has combined efforts with Amada Senior Care, a leading in-home health care agency with locations throughout the country, to help you process a claim from any LTC Insurance policy.

There is no cost or obligation for this service - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

If they don't have an LTC policy, Amada can still help develop a plan of care and provide you with many affordable in-home care options. 

Learn more now - Find Quality In-Home Care.

These four LTC NEWS guides will assist you in trying to find appropriate long-term health care services for a loved one:

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In summary, sponsored content on LTC NEWS is a powerful marketing tool that can help you boost website traffic, SEO, brand recognition, and audience engagement. Traditional advertising is also available to keep you in front of potential customers. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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