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Holistic Health Care Provides Wholesome Lifestyle Approach To Wellness

The concept of holistic health care, although principled in ancient healing traditions, has gained in popularity since the 1970s. The term “holism,” initially coined by Jan Christian Smuts early in the twentieth century, is defined as “a philosophy that views living organisms as different from, and greater than the sum of their parts.”

As traditional medicine evolved into a practice whereby specific health maladies could be treated with the latest discoveries in drugs or other technological advances, holistic practices went out the window. Much like taking a car to an automotive clinic, the widespread belief was that health issues could simply be “fixed,” no matter what their causes. Unhealthy lifestyles burgeoned in the wake of modern medical advances, as sources outside the body were blamed for the development of undesirable health outcomes.

Today, holistic traditions are alive and well, as societies have seen the health ravages brought about or aided by various lifestyle factors. Holistic health principals dictate that wellness is a daily process, brought about, or aggravated by everyday living choices. Holistic health practitioners espouse the concepts of prevention and development of high levels of well-being, while treating diseases or chronic conditions by accounting for the person as a whole.

The combined effect of heredity, quality of medical care and environment on human health is just over fifty percent. This leaves just less than half of health effects attributable to lifestyle decisions that we make during our lifetime. This means that although we may not be in complete control of the factors that affect our health, our own decisions are responsible for the largest portion of the state of wellness that we experience.

Body, mind, and spirit are health aspects to be taken into consideration, when designing a holistic treatment approach. Those who embrace holistic health principals must accept greater responsibility for their own health and well-being, than traditional medical patients. They must partner with their health care providers to create physical, mental and spiritual balance using holistic methods. Together doctor and patient will seek harmony in a variety of holistic health areas, including nutrition, environment and emotional, psychological and spiritual stability. Self-care is a vital component of successful holistic health care.

Holistic methodology focuses on the relationship between the underlying cause of the disease or condition, and its effects. Efforts are made to restore balance, or treat causation or symptoms, without the use of surgery or traditional drug therapies. Holistic remedies may include:

*Dietary changes

*Medicinal herbs

*Nutritional supplementation

*Cleansing techniques

*Massage

*Acupuncture

*Oxygen therapy

*Homeopathic medicine

The use of holistic health techniques or remedies requires the patient to become adept at reading their body’s reaction to treatment. Trial and error may be involved in finding the best treatment. Responding to progress or lack of it is paramount in attaining optimal results.

The use of holistic health methods broadens the spectrum of available treatment options, and can be used as a supplement to traditional health care possibilities. Although the risks inherent in traditional treatments are not experienced with non-traditional holistic techniques, risks are still associated with holistic practice. As with any form of medical treatment, side-effects and individual limitations must be regarded with caution.

The key to successful holistic health outcomes is a trusted partnership with a qualified holistic practitioner, and the ability to make self-care decisions based on this relationship, as well as one’s own intuition.

Some Ethical Issues in Health Care – Requirements and Treatments

When it comes to health care ethical issues, there are almost as many ethical issues as there are health issues to be treated. There are laws in place to direct the behavior of almost every person in the health care personnel chain, from the nurse to the nurses aide who assists them and the doctor who ultimately gets to try and make the decisions to treat within the confines of the insurance system ruling over the life of the patient in question.

There are ethical issues that are clearly defined, such as the requirements for treatment decisions when a patient has a Medical Power of Attorney or a Living Will. Then there are thealth care ethical issues that don’t have such clearly defined areas, such as whether it is allowable to withhold a possible lifesaving treatment from a patient only because their insurance will not pay for it.

Health care providers must make their treatment decisions based on a great many determining factors, perhaps the most constraining of which is the insurance reimbursement regime. If doctors and other health care providers could just treat their patients and have only that to worry about, what a wonderful world it would be. But doctors have to constantly worry about whether or not they and possibly the facility where they practice will be paid by the insurance companies. The next most important factor which affects health care providers ability to provide the care patients truly need is whether or not the patient has been truthful with the information they have given to the health care provider, and whether or not they have had access to health care to establish and maintain their health care needs.

Ethical concerns also come into play with patients whose family constellations are unclear. A patient who has a spouse has a straightforward next of kin when decisions have to be made. When a patient is separated from their spouse, and even perhaps has a new significant other, the next of kin can be much more difficult to determine, and protecting all health care providers-doctors, hospitals, etc from the liability risk of allowing the person who does not have a legal right to make decisions for a patient is a necessity. The health care ethical issues presented by these kinds of situations are very delicate.

One important ethical concern in health care is the need to protect oneself from the very real danger of the transmission of communicable diseases in bodily fluids. Especially in cases where a patients history is not available, health care providers have the right and the responsibility to protect themselves from viruses and bacteria that may be present in the body fluids of patients to which they are exposed taking care of these patients. However, this must be balanced with the possibility of making patients feel accused or uncomfortable by these same protective measures.

One last important health care ethical issues, especially in this day in age, is the protection of private, personally identifying information. Patients records used to be kept in public places where almost anyone could read them-filing pockets outside their doors, for instance. This kind of situation is not longer allowed, and records are more closely guarded nowadays, and many hospitals now rely on records kept entirely on computers.

Ethical issues are a part of almost every field, but health care has a special place in the system, where people are trusted with making those who are sick feel better, those who are injured able to return to their prior lives, and those who have chronic conditions and those who love them more able to cope with the demands of living with those conditions.