What does holistic mean?
Webster's dictionary defines holistic as relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts. Holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body.
I like to take the definition one step further and add that holistic medicine is a health care approach that harmonizes and balances the body by using gentle and natural medicine.
As a holistic veterinarian I rely on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) to help guide my physical exam findings and to determine how acupuncture, herbal medicine, and nutrition might best help an individual patient.
One of my favorite aspects of the TCVM approach is how emotions can directly influence the health of our animal companions. When emotions are overwhelming and left unchecked the health of a patient is compromised.
Overwhelming and prolonged grief can create disease in the large intestine and lungs.
Anger and frustration can lead to disease of the liver and gall bladder.
Excessive worry can take a toll on the stomach and spleen.
Fear and anxiety can adversely effect the health and functions of the kidney and bladder.
The heart and small intestine can become imbalanced and diseased with a patient who experiences overpowering and persistent joy.
By knowing the emotional health and personality type of a patient I am given additional insight into the health and well-being of my animal patients.