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Holistic Medicine

What Does Holistic Medicine Mean?

Holism is a way of viewing living things as “entities greater than and different from the sum of their parts.”
1926 Jan Christiaan Smuts

What Is Holistic Medicine?

According to the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), “Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health. It includes analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, spiritual, and lifestyle elements. Holistic medicine focuses on patient education and participation in the healing process.”

Holistic medicine, also known as functional medicine or integrative medicine, is about the integration of healing systems – the merging of conventional with complementary or alternative therapies. The following are Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies often included in holistic medicine that Merge Medical Center offers in the Charleston area:

  • Acupuncture
  • Natural Hormone Therapy
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Digestive Health
  • Nutritional Consultation
  • Chinese Therapeutic Massage
  • Homeopathy
  • Prolotherapy
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Osteopathy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Nutraceuticals

What is Optimal Health?

Whether you are a grandparent who wants to play an active role in your grandchildren’s lives or an entrepreneur who needs the energy to make your business a success, you know the difference between feeling sick verses having abundant liveliness and strength to enjoy all that you do. Often people’s lab results come back within normal ranges and yet they don’t feel well. Functional medicine practitioners assess lab results based on a much narrower range referred to as an optimal range. There is a wide gap between optimal health and disease. By identifying and treating issues that fall into this gap, many diseases can be prevented and people can feel great. With this regenerative medicine, the goal is always optimal health, not simply avoidance of sickness.

What Do Holistic Practitioners Believe?

Holistic practitioners or holistic doctors believe each patient is unique and that wellness is more than the absence of a diagnosable disease in an individual. Illness is viewed as a manifestation of a dysfunction of the whole person, not as an isolated body system. When it comes to treating disease, functional medicine practitioners look for the underlying cause of the condition rather than simply treating the symptoms. In addition, they help patients achieve optimal health so patients can feel energetic, strong, happy, youthful, and free of pain and sickness.

The role of practitioners who practice integrated medicine goes beyond physicians to include coach, mentor, and role model – and they use all tools at their disposal from medication to meditation. Diagnosis and treatment choices depend on the patient and include:

  • Specialized diagnostic testing,
  • Education for lifestyle changes and self-care,
  • Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and prolotherapy
  • Conventional medications, nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, and herbs

The Role of the Patient

Healing from illness and achieving improved health through integrated medicine requires collaboration. The practitioner-patient relationship is viewed as a partnership, which fosters patient autonomy and places a value on the needs and insights of both parties. Patients are empowered with knowledge, support, and tools to actively participate in their health.

How We Can Help

Are you looking to optimize your health? Are you hoping to age in the healthiest way possible? Are you living with a chronic disease or condition? Our staff at Merge Medical Center is trained to develop the most appropriate, personalized, and optimal treatment for each of our patients. By doing a thorough history, learning about your daily lifestyle, and consulting with any previous or current practitioners, we aim to provide you with well-rounded “holistic” care.

At Merge Medical Center, we provide the following services:

  • We use the most up-to-date diagnostics to gauge your health.
  • We utilize nutritional supplements, herbs, acupuncture, and detoxification.
  • We simplify health by educating our patients. We explain concepts such as macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and food combining. Empowered with this knowledge, our patients are able to make better food choices, whether at the grocery store or at a restaurant.
  • We create personalized diet plans tailored to our patients’ individual goals and health needs that complement their busy lives.
  • We provide individualized coaching on lifestyles, such as recipes and the know-how to prepare delicious healthy meals ahead of time.
  • Our recommendations are not only unique for each patient but change as patients become stronger and feel better.