Holistic health is based on the premise that optimal health is not based upon just the absence of disease, but upon the living balance of the “whole” person. The mind, body, spirit, and emotions are integrated and inseparable. With holistic health, there is the belief that the body contains an energy system that is the support and life for the physical body. Health is achieved with treating the causes of the symptoms and disease – not just alleviating, masking, or addressing the symptoms. If one part of your body is not functioning properly, all other parts may be affected. Holistic health that's based upon the fundamentals of functional medicine is said to be the healthcare of the future.
The holistic treatment of the body’s expression of symptoms is done through natural and preventative approaches. The individual is looked at as a person- not as the disease they have or ailments they exhibit. Additionally, with holistic health, one’s health is measured not just with the absence of symptoms and disease, but an overall positive state of being. Therefore, individuals also have a responsibility for their own total health and have to be an active participant in their approaches towards day-to-day wellness and healing to keep the body in balance.
When it comes to holistic health, components which influence the body’s health and balance include: posture, microbiomes, climatic factors, diet, exercise, rest, stress, toxins, purposefulness, sexual health, and more. These factors demonstrate the relationship and interactions between an individual and his or her environment that might influence an individual’s optimal health.
Understanding, studying, and isolating some of these factors that might be contributing to imbalance and subsequently, symptoms and disease, is fundamental to the practice of holistic health. With holistic medicine, one achieves optimal health when the systems are in balance.
When one integrates functional medicine into the practice of holistic health, one is also focusing on an individual’s gastrointestinal, genetic makeup, immune and endocrine systems to further personalize the patient’s individual approach to health as well as identifying root causes of disease. The relationship between the practitioner and patient is viewed as a partnership. The practitioner works with the patient to study and understand how the systems of the body are working or not working together, prevent future health risks, and treats all patients as unique individuals. Together, both holistic health and functional medicine focus on supporting and working with the body to allow it to heal, self-regulate, and experience overall vitality.