How To Find A Holistic Practitioner
One of the most commonly asked questions at the Center for Holistic Medicine is
‘How do I find a holistic doctor in
First, let us clarify a few terms. When talking about ‘holistic medicine’, we are referring to a combination of
conventional and alternative practices that address a patient’s overall health rather than merely treating the symptoms of a particular illness. ‘Alternative medicine’ simply denotes a medical approach or technique that is not commonly practiced by ‘conventional’ doctors or taught in medical schools.
Surprisingly, medical schools do not educate their future doctors about the importance of health, diet and nutrition. Rather, these schools place an emphasis on making a diagnosis and treating with pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately, most drugs do not treat the underlying cause of the illness; they generally treat the symptoms.
A holistic practitioner will utilize all therapies available to them including prescription medications, as well as diet and nutritional approaches. Often times a change in diet and/or nutritional approach will minimize the use of drug therapies.
Walking the Walk: Healthcare Best Practices
A holistic healthcare provider should also ‘walk the walk’. In other words, they should be incorporating holistic principles into their own health plan, and following the same advice they are giving to you. Just because a doctor’s sign says that he/she practices holistic medicine, does not make it so. It may take some legwork to find a competent holistic healthcare provider. To find a holistic healthcare provider, follow the advice below:
- Contact a compounding pharmacist. Holistic physicians frequently utilize the skills of compounding pharmacists. A busy compounding pharmacist may be able to guide you to find a holistic doctor.
- Ask the doctor about his practice. A holistic doctor should be able to explain their philosophy succinctly to you.
- Finally, ask around. Satisfied patients are more than happy to share their experiences.
Here are a few resources to help you get started with your search for a good holistic practitioner:
- The International College of Integrative Medicine is a community of dedicated physicians who advance innovative therapies in integrative medicine by conducting educational conferences, supporting research, and cooperating with other scientific organizations, while always promoting the highest standards of practice.
- The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists is an association representing more than 3,600 pharmacists, technicians, students, and members of the compounding community who focus upon the specialty practice of pharmacy compounding. Compounding pharmacists work directly with prescribers, including physicians, nurse practitioners and veterinarians to create customized medication solutions for patients and animals whose healthcare needs cannot be met by manufactured medications.
Remember, YOU are ultimately in control of your own health. Educate yourself. Don't be afraid to ask questions. The more knowledge you have, the more proactive you may be as to how to address your health. Finding the right fit with a holistic doctor can help you achieve your optimal health.