Holistic medicine is a term used to describe treating the patient as a whole pet. That is, instead of just treating a single illness or injury, holistic doctors look at an individual's overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being in order to develop a complete treatment plan. The body's systems are seen as interdependent parts of the whole being. Its natural state is one of health, and an illness or disease is an imbalance in the body's systems. Holistic therapies attempt to bring the body back into balance and tend to emphasize proper nutrition and avoidance of substances—such as chemicals—that pollute the body unless absolutely necessary. A practitioner with a holistic approach treats the symptoms while looking for the underlying cause of the imbalance. Holistic medicine also attempts to prevent illness by placing a greater emphasis on optimizing health.
Some of the world's health systems that are holistic in nature include Naturopathic and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture). Many alternative or natural therapies have a holistic approach, although that is not always the case. Allopathic (conventional) medicine can also be holistic when used to diagnose and treat underlying disease, rather than just suppressing symptoms. The term integrative medicine is used to refer to the use of both allopathic and holistic treatments in order gain the optimum results for your pet.
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