Conversely, Eastern beliefs and philosophies are hinged on the importance of the whole person, as well as their connection to the universe. The ancient wisdom of India and China reflect the importance of achieving harmony with nature through the philosophies and practices of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Both Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have emerged from books of ancient wisdom that date back at least five thousand years and both belief systems have similarities in the shared view of the holistic nature of good health, well being and longevity.
Many people have found themselves dealing with chronic illness and struggling with subtle imbalances in their health that affect their overall quality of life. More and more health conscious individuals have turned to alternative healing modalities as a vehicle for self-healing while striving to find vitality and wellness. Innovate approaches to health and healing and the blending of alternative therapies combined with conventional Western medicine is an emerging trend known as Integrative Medicine. Integrative Medicine enlists the use of alternative or complementary approaches to healthcare under the supervision of a physician and is considered to be a partnership in healing between the patient and the physician. Integrative medicine supports the holistic health paradigm, recognizing the interactive influence of the body-mind and spirit connection, making relevant assessments and mapping out a plan to help achieve optimal health.
A holistic view of health and healing can be traced back through the ages. Hippocrates, a Greek physician that was born in 460BC, was known as the father of modern medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. Hippocrates, an herbalist, held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole. He is credited with having written” Let foods be your medicines, and your medicines your food.” Herbalism and medicine were essentially the same practice. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Babylonians and Native Americans were all herbalists. The use of herbs is still a dominant part of the healing strategy used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine today. All over the world, as far back as the history of mankind, plants have been a primary source for healing and nourishment. Herbal remedies can play an important part in supporting good health. Herbal remedies have been used throughout time and is slowly but surely gaining credibility for their curative properties. Herbal constituents are used as a base for many pharmaceutical drugs and scientific evidence has increased to back the validity of the use of herbs in healing. The use of herbs in cooking, beauty care and healthcare can be an asset to a holistic health regimen. The use of herbs can be dangerous if not used appropriately and should be taken under expert supervision.
Abundant research supports the view that the human body works as an integrated system rather than individual systems. Therefore, it makes good sense to view our health from a holistic perspective and take into consideration how our lifestyle choices can influence our overall state of health.
Holistic Health Links
American Holistic Health Assoication
Natural Center for Complimentary & Alternative Medicine
American Association of Integrative Medicine
Office of Dietary Supplements-National Institutes of Health
Ayurvedic Medical Association
American Herbalists Guild
Alternative Medicine Foundation