A Holistic Approach To Health, What Does It Really Mean?

Most physicians and researchers who belong to Western medicine do not regard the search for global mechanisms of health and disease as a qualitative science. Before they agree to put nutritional medicine into the “legitimate disciplines” club, they will want to know the exact details about the complex system that leads to each of the diseases. They will insist on identifying the “active ingredients” in food, instead of simply accepting the fact that food itself is what is healthy for our bodies. Of course they want answers that cannot be provided to them, at least when it comes to nutrition. We do not know how to accurately analyse the effect of nutrition, because we can not identify all its components, what they do and their mode of action. However, holistic approaches have too been around many years and can provide huge benefits. In fact a holistic approach to health can be hugely life changing. 

A good diet cures all their diseases and is responsible for a poor diet

The medical community tends to repeat the mantra that there is no “one-size-fits-all treatment.” This principle reveals the inability of physicians and their unfortunate refusal to acknowledge the existence of complexity and its consequences. Nature excels at a much more complex biological function than we are willing to admit, and when we accept the fact that complex body systems can reach and maintain health, then the principle of “one treatment for all” will begin to make sense to us. You can probably imagine that this “one treatment” is a diet based on whole plant foods, with an almost unlimited variety of parts that function harmoniously as one whole, as in a symphony, and is “suitable for everyone”, because it affects a wide range of diseases. While the “one-size-fits-all” approach cannot be applied to pharmacotherapy, it is highly effective and powerful when applied as part of a holistic diet.

You could say that in another way – poor nutrition causes far more diseases than our current disease system thinks. In contrast, a good diet cures all these diseases and even more. At this point, nutritional solutions to disease should already make sense to us, but nonetheless, it is worth examining for a moment how a medical system based on nutrition differs from the reductionist system we have today:

Disease management (reductionist approach)

Nutrition (the holistic approach)

Reactive

Preventive 

Focuses on symptoms

Focuses on factors

Prefers separate treatments

Prefers systemic therapies

Uses unnatural chemicals

Uses natural materials

The Reactive vs. Preventive Approach

While the disease management method is a reactive method, holistic medicine is often preventative. In other words, its purpose is to prevent the diseases before they develop. The disease management method focuses on the symptoms, while the nutritional approach addresses the underlying causes of these symptoms. The modern day disease management approach prefers to use synthetic drugs that our body recognizes as toxins, but a holistic approach means being able to look at eliminating the toxins and keeping something much more natural that will also benefit our bodies in the long run.

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