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Holistic Wellness vs. Integrative Medicine

May 02, 2021

As human beings, we sure do love a quick fix. Trouble getting to sleep? There’s a pill for that. Can’t keep the weight off? Why not surgically remove it? Sometimes, quick fixes like these are advisable. They aren’t, however, at the heart of holistic wellness or integrative medicine. So what exactly do these two terms actually mean?

Let’s get one thing straight, because it’s crucial to understanding any holistic or integrative approach to wellness: there is a difference between treating the symptoms of a problem and treating the cause. Ideally, the goal is to treat both! But to do that, we must understand the bigger picture of our personal health. This is where holistic wellness and integrative medicine come into play.

A doctor prepares to give a woman in a massage chair Iv infusion inside a seafoam green office.

What is Holistic Wellness?

Holistic wellness is a big-picture approach to your individual health. It takes into account factors like your relationships, emotional status, and stress levels in addition to the more conventional physical health considerations.

Developing a healthy lifestyle requires a variety of consistent choices. When we’re able to step back and view the totality of our situation, we see a broader view of things that might be getting in the way of our health and happiness. This is where holistic practices shine.

Health educator Jenna Templeton identifies 8 pillars of health and wellness. These structural support areas are as follows: physical, nutrition, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, financial, and environmental.

As you may have noticed, many of these pillars fall outside the purview of a traditional doctor. That’s not a mistake.

CentreSpringMD defines “holistic medicine” as an overarching category that encompasses these big-picture modalities we’ve been discussing.

What is Integrative Medicine?

“Integrative medicine” is very closely related to “holistic wellness.” According to the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, integrative medicine “takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient.”

CentreSpringMD makes the important distinction that integrative medicine is practiced by “medical physicians who have undergone conventional medical school training and embrace other modalities of medicine.”

Integrative medicine exists as a subcategory within the larger scope of holistic wellness. It is practiced by medical doctors who also incorporate non-western medical approaches.

A woman stretching on a yoga mat in a health and holistic wellness studio.
A holistic approach to one’s health can help set the stage for some incredible lifestyle shifts.

Why Might I Take a Holistic Approach to My Health?

By way of example, imagine that you are one of 8% of adults with chronic back pain. The nagging pain distracts you throughout the day and keeps you up at night. Not a lot of fun, right?

Well, let’s say when that pain gets bad you visit your general practitioner. They may have you use a back roller, perform targeted stretching exercises, or work out a strategy to improve your posture. These approaches certainly can be very helpful, and they may solve your pain. If so, great!

But what if your pain is actually a result of financial stress? A doctor with an approach rooted in integrative medicine may be more likely to catch this.

Integrative Medicine Options in Columbus

A service room for holistic wellness inside Rejuvenate You in Dublin, Ohio.

We can’t wait to discuss your wellness goals and help identify new strategies and approaches to aid you in your holistic wellness journey. Rejuvenate You provides a variety of health and wellness services to start you on the path to a better you. Give us a call or schedule a time to experience integrative medicine for yourself.

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