What is a holistic approach?
Holistic medicine focuses on incorporating natural healing methods and engaging the body’s own healing abilities to work toward health. The animal’s environment, nutrition, stress factors, disease pattern and relationship to other pets and humans in the household are evaluated.
Ideally, prevention of disease would be the focus in the early years, thus necessitating little intervention until the patient is older. As a result, holistic medicine is often reached for as a last resort. People often turn to holistic medicine after a pet has aged significantly. A holistic practitioner trained in the area of acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, nutrition and homeopathy would have alternatives to cortisone and other harsh medications in the later years.
In many situations, the holistic practitioner will choose from Western/conventional technology (surgery, diagnostics and drug therapy) and combine this with alternative/complementary techniques to create a treatment plan. Being truly holistic means looking at the whole picture. This takes into account an understanding of all the healing modalities and their suitability to the patient and the illness.
Be sure to evaluate the credentials of veterinarians who advertise that they are holistic, as many will promote this interest. Inquire as to their completion of a comprehensive program, if they are working toward certification, and if they have been extensively trained in acupuncture, chiropractic, physical rehabilitation, herbal medicine, and/or homeopathy. Sad to say, but there are weekend courses in how to prescribe herbs and even perform an adjustment on your pet.