Holistic Medicine Treats Whole Person


By Gina Kraman

“Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, New Zealanders – people from every civilization have practiced holistic medicine.  Native people would use local resources to successfully treat ailments,” explains Dr. Umang Patel, internist and geriatrician, Woodridge Clinic.  “We incorporate holistic methods today while treating patients.  Since patients are all different, no single approach is best for everyone.  Doctors need to evaluate each patient individually.”

Dr. Patel explains that while traditional Western medicine is the most commonly practiced medicine in the United States, it’s best when integrated with other options, such as nutrition counseling, yoga, massage, and herbal supplements.

“About 50 years ago, Western medicine started embracing other approaches to provide comprehensive patient care,” he says.

According to the Holistic Medical Association, holistic medicine “is a form of healing that combines conventional and alternative modalities for optimal treatment and preventative care.”  Holistic medicine examines the whole person and the relationship of body, mind, and spirit to improved health.

When helping a patient, Dr. Patel listens to the problem, and seeks to detect the root cause.  He presents treatment options to the patient, and helps him or her choose how to proceed.

For example, when a patient seeks help for migraine headaches, Dr. Patel evaluates the symptoms, and probes the underlying cause.  “Much of the time, migraines are the result of life stressors in the person’s life.  Just prescribing a pill won’t help the root cause.  And sometimes medicines can have side effects.  It’s best to explore long-term solutions instead of a quick fix that won’t last.”

He adds that other problems such as stomachaches and overactive bladders can be stress-induced and respond well to holistic solutions, such as meditation, group therapy, or private counseling.  Patel cautions that holistic treatments are not risk-free, and should be discussed with qualified professionals for patient safety.

For more information, call Woodridge Clinic, (630) 910-1177, or visit www.woodridgeclinic.comWoodridge Clinic has offices in Woodridge, Lemont, and Lombard.

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