Conventional vs holistic approach to health, what works? In my opinion, one should not work without the other, and this is why.
During the years, when I struggled with persistent acne on my skin, I saw many expensive and experienced dermatologists and skin specialists in different countries, and all of them did their best to treat my skin as an individual organ. I was put on Roaccutane three times, went through countless beauty procedures but had always gone back to the same result, which was just a temporary relief from my acne. But why?
The reason was that non of those professionals had a whole approach to my issue. Their task was to heal my skin, but the reason why my skin wasn’t healing was much deeper than the superficial tissue. That’s why when I got introduced to functional medicine, I have experienced immediate results because other parts of my body and my mind were not left behind anymore. I was healing my WHOLE self, and my skin’s appearance started to reflect these changes naturally.
That’s why I can’t resonate with people who say that they only trust conventional medicine. Usually, conventional medicine based on modern science makes statistically-based diagnoses and treatments that work on mass populations over individualised ones. You can find that it’s more centred on treating the symptoms of the illnesses, not the cause. Also, science can be influenced by fundings, which is not an unusual practise these days.
I have the same position towards the holistic practitioners and wellness influencers, who deny scientifically based evidence, just because of their beliefs. For example, I have seen vegan wellness coaches saying that B12 deficiency is just a hoax and another way for the wellness industry to make money through supplements. It shows that these people don’t obtain enough knowledge through studies in their field and spread misinformation, leading to serious health issues of their followers.
There are many examples of when these two powerful industries’ practices contradict each other, such as “detoxing,” or parasite cleansing. Conventional medicine doesn’t recognise “detoxing” as a medical treatment, where an alternative or functional medicine often uses this technique in their programs to optimise their clients’ health. Myself, I experienced amazing results from a proper detox on several occasions. I’m not talking here about commercial five-day juice detox programs. I’m talking about well-structured cleansing programs that help to optimise the diet with nourishing plant-based whole-foods and hydrating juices while restricting the consumption of foods that promote poor gut health and inflammation. Usually, this kind of practice teaches us to be mindful about what we eat and works as a restart button, especially when it comes to our gut microbiome. A proper detox can result in improved bowel movements, more energy, less bloating and clearer mind and skin!
The fact that conventional medicine doesn’t recognise detox as a functional tool for recovery doesn’t stop thousands of people experiencing great results. The holistic approach to health is about caring for the whole person. It would encourage a person to pay attention to other important aspects of his life, like stress management and sleeping patterns, which play a tremendous role in any form of healing.
Let’s not forget that many holistic treatments like acupuncture, aromatherapy, homoeopathy, massage, reflexology, meditation, and herbal medicine have been around for thousands of years and are a part of many lives and cultures worldwide. You can’t take away their credibility just because they are not based on scientific knowledge.
On the other hand, holistic medicine’s safety can often be questioned due to the lack of regulations and minimal testing. Many people inside and outside the industry wouldn’t miss the opportunity to make money on it. Most supplements are not regulated, which means they lack quality control and can do more harm than good. Because supplements do not need a prescription, they are easier to market and sell to the general population, especially if they advertised to be “natural,” which still doesn’t say anything about their safety.
As you see, it’s not black and white when it comes to healthcare, and it doesn’t have to be! Both options have their pros and cons, and it should be up to you to make an educated decision based on what feels right to you. I believe that a holistic approach to the science of health and beauty is the future, and something everyone should be aiming towards. We shouldn’t rely on medication solely to treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause of ill health, which in many cases could be prevented by an active, healthy lifestyle and a balanced whole food focused diet. As humans, we have progressed so much, and modern science is a fascinating result of our evolution. Why not use the powers of natural healing and perks of modern medicine to give someone the best treatment possible?