Holistic vs. conventional medicine. The case for top prize may not be unanimous, depending on who’s sitting on the judge’s panel. But, if you were the judge and knew enough about both approaches, which would you believe to be better?

If you’re having a heart attack or stroke, good sense would tell you (or those helping you) to call 911. You’re heading to the ER, not Whole Foods.

But let’s back up to long before the sirens and hospital drama. Let’s talk about holistic vs. conventional medicine from the standpoint of health vs. disease, prevention vs. treatment.

Think about your last trip to a primary care physician. How long did the doctor spend with you? Fifteen to maybe 30 minutes? And what did you discuss? The status of your health and lifestyle…or the presence of concerning symptoms and the need for prescription meds and/or invasive procedures?

If you have been to a holistic doctor before, what was that experience like? How long did the provider spend with you? What kinds of questions were asked? And what approaches were taken or suggested to improve your health going forward?

One big difference that should automatically stand out is “prevention vs. fixing.” It’s the regular-oil-changes-and-routine-maintenance vs. the week-in-the-shop-diagnostics-and-expensive-repairs.

Holistic medicine, as its name implies, views the person in his or her entirety: body, mind, spirit, and soul. No one is a mere collection of physical parts, but is first and foremost a spiritual being. 

And the spiritual, emotional, mental, and social aspects of that entity animate the physical aspect. They influence its performance, integrity, and inherent healing ability.

Because the non-physical components of a person are essential to the physical components, holistic medicine treats them with equal attention and significance. It believes in – and therefore practices to serve – the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

The goal of holism is to care for, support, and encourage the well-being of the entire person – body, mind, emotions, spirit, soul. It seeks the cause of disease by considering all aspects of a being and the way they interact and influence each other. 

The patient’s lifestyle isn’t a footnote; it’s the main topic.

Viewed in this light, the holistic vs. conventional medicine comparison is really a prevention-vs.-acute-treatment comparison.

In an ideal world, humans would be treating their bodies as vehicles for the non-physical components of their existence. They would instinctively know and honor the truth that what goes into the body affects the body’s service of the mind and spirit.

Conventional medicine, while it has its rightful place for acute illness and trauma, is reactive, not preventive. It’s not designed to support a patient’s highest good through a chronic illness.

When’s the last time you rushed to urgent care to discuss the role of nutrition and supplementation on your sleep quality or energy levels?

And when’s the last time a conventional doctor recommended vitamins or other supplementation to empower your body’s natural healing abilities?

With pharmaceutical companies (the pharmaco mafia) paying big money to influence conventional medicine — from medical school to research to hospital procedures — are you surprised?

You’d probably be more surprised if a conventional doctor told you to start an intravenous vitamin C regimen than if s/he scribbled a drug name on a prescription pad. 

Attention to cellular health by natural means isn’t in the job description of conventional medicine.

It is, however, a mainstay of holistic medicine.

The question Holistic vs. conventional medicine: Which is better? will ultimately be answered by what you value in your own life and how you define “health.”

Are you content to take your chances and fix things when they break…if they can be fixed? 

Or do you want to optimize yourself – body, mind, spirit – for both the present and the long road ahead?

Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. is the father of holistic medicine. Dr. Sergey Sorin is a holistic physician as well as the CEO and medical director of the Shealy-Sorin Wellness Institute. Both doctors recommend the Biogenics® System as part of your overall commitment to self-health and enhancing your positivity.

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