What is a holistic doctor? Holistic doctors are educated and trained in traditional medicine and hold a medical degree. They are capable of addressing all standard medical needs the same as a traditional medical doctor, however, they adhere to holistic principles that use a variety of alternative methods to promote physical, emotional and spiritual health and encourage a better quality of life.
Treatment draws together the wisdom from a variety of different health care modalities and cultures. No particular treatment option is seen as "the" answer or the "superior" solution. Health, healing and management are acquired through the combination of many different approaches. Pharmaceuticals or surgery may be prescribed, but only when absolutely essential and after other methods have been exhausted. A holistic medical doctor sees value in both traditional and alternative methods and will combine the two when the situation calls for it.
Holistic doctors are my first choice and my highest recommendation for anyone interested in holistic health care, especially those living with chronic illness or any medical condition. Holistic health practitioners of all kinds are valuable and to be utilized as needed, but many medical needs can only be met by a holistic medical doctor and it gives you a much wider variety of treatment options. They are the best of all worlds.
Some alternative and holistic treatment methods require a prescription. For example, I take natural pig thyroid extract for hypothyroidism and natural cortisol due to malfunctioning adrenal glands. Even though these treatments are natural, they require a prescription from a medical doctor.
A good holistic doctor will be well rounded and knowledgeable in many different modalities and be experienced with a variety of different illnesses, diseases and conditions. They will be skilled in pinpointing and addressing biochemical and metabolic disorders, food allergies, chemical sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, vitamin and mineral supplementation, diet plans, lifestyle changes, environmental medicine and even spiritual aspects. This is a great benefit because you can get most of your holistic medical needs met in one place and therefore you won't have to be running around to five or six different practitioners.
If you're looking for certain holistic services that you're holistic doctor doesn't provide, they are usually connected with many other health care practitioners in the community and will know where to guide you.
Finding a Holistic Doctor
Two of the best places to find a holistic doctor are the American Holistic Medical Association and the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. You can find referrals there with contact information, credentials and specialties.
All holistic medical doctors listed at both these agencies must be a licensed MD (Medical Doctor) or DO ( Osteopathic Doctor)
You can also find listings at the American Holistic Health Association, but not all listings here are medical doctors, this organization has referrals for all types of holistic health practitioners, so if you're searching specifically for a medical doctor, be sure to check their credentials and look for the M.D. or D.O. beside their name.
Just like any field of medicine there will be different levels of skill and quality amongst holistic medical doctors, be sure to research and make the best choice for your situation.
When searching for holistic doctors it's important that you find someone you feel comfortable with. Someone who respects you, values your input and is a good listener. Trust and communication are of the utmost importance, because building a relationship with your doctor and working together is the foundation of holistic medicine.
A good holistic doctor will encourage you to participate in all decisions regarding your treatment options and present you with a variety of self care modalities as well.