Holistic medicine, by its very nature, is humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect.
In treating an animal, a holistic veterinarian will determine the best combination of both conventional and alternative (or complementary) therapies for a given individual. This mixture of healing arts and skills is as natural as life itself. Therein lies the very essence of the word “(w)holistic.” It means taking in the whole picture of the patient—the environment, the disease pattern, the relationship of pet with owner—and developing a treatment protocol using a wide range of therapies for healing the patient. The holistic practitioner is interested not only in a medical history, but also genetics, nutrition, environment, family relationships, stress levels, and other factors.
Many patients present in a state of “disease.” At this point the holistic challenge lies in the question “why?” A simple-appearing symptom may have several layers of causation. When one area of the body is ill, it can manifest in many different ways. Only when the true cause of the ailment has been found is there the possibility for a lasting recovery.
Through a series of analytic observations and appropriate testing, the goal becomes finding the true root source of the pathology. It is at this point that the most efficacious, least invasive, least expensive, and least harmful path to cure is selected.
In many acute situations, treatment may involve aspects of surgery and drug therapy from conventional Western technology, along with alternative techniques to provide a complementary whole. This form of treatment has great value for severe trauma and certain infections.
Once the symptoms have been treated, the task is not complete until the underlying disease patterns have been redirected. The patient, as well as the client, will be guided to a new level of health. The wholeness inherent in the scope of holistic veterinary medicine nurtures all aspects of an animal’s well-being, resulting in lasting physical, mental, and emotional health.