Holistic Medicine for Seniors: Exploring Natural Remedies for Older Adults

By |2022-04-20T16:08:10+00:00April 20th, 2022|Aging, Seniors, Wellness|

Sometimes, the Best Treatments Are Found Outside the Box

If you’ve heard of holistic medicine, you’ve more than likely already formed an opinion of it. Just the concept itself is either a great idea or new-age nonsense in the minds of many; rarely is there ever an opinion on holistic medicine that falls in between! 

Holistic medicine isn’t always incense, chanting, and a cup of tea with an odd name. For instance, if you take vitamins and other supplements every day, you’re already treating yourself with a form of holistic medicine. As with anything, there’s much more to holistic medicine than meets the eye.

So, what is holistic medicine? How can it work for seniors? The short answer is that holistic medicine can do a lot for you in your golden years. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of holistic medicine for seniors.

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What is Holistic Medicine?

The modern Western healthcare system is designed to treat the symptoms of an illness or disease. Holistic medicine is a form of medicine designed to find the cause behind illness or disease. In order to attack the disease, holistic medicine utilizes a mixture of medications, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes to rid your body of what ails it.

There are several different branches in the holistic medicine tree, each one focusing on different types of treatments to combat disease and illness. Let’s take a look at some of the branches below.

Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine deals with the musculoskeletal system. The idea of osteopathic medicine is that your musculoskeletal system affects your entire body, so if there are issues with your musculoskeletal system, there will be issues with your health as well. With osteopathic manipulative medicine, doctors opt to utilize musculoskeletal manipulation in tandem with conventional medicine.

Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine is a practice in which doctors use what is known as CAM treatment methods. This means that, in addition to conventional medicines, doctors may use complementary and alternative methods of treatment, such as acupuncture and managed diet.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine uses an ancient system of Indian medicine known as Ayurveda to treat health issues. “Ayurveda” is a Sanskrit term for “knowledge of life.” Ayurveda focuses on correcting health issues by balancing “doshas,” or life energies, through alternative treatments, diet, herbal remedies, and changes in lifestyle.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine utilizes a combination of several different treatment types to treat illnesses and diseases. The treatment types utilized in naturopathic medicine include:

  • Conventional western medicine
  • Natural therapies
  • Holistic approaches

Ancient Eastern Medicine

Ancient Eastern medicine follows an ancient form of Chinese medicine. According to this practice, everyone has a lifeforce known as “qi” (pronounced, “chi”). If your qi is balanced, you are considered to be in good health. If your qi is imbalanced or blocked, you’re more likely to be ill. The aim of ancient Eastern medicine is to balance your qi with:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medicine
  • Lifestyle changes and therapies

Holistic Medicine for Seniors

With the cost of healthcare constantly rising, seniors are always looking for ways to avoid paying high fees for doctor’s visits or conventional medication. As a result, seniors who are looking for alternatives are turning more to holistic medicine. This has led to practitioners creating specific treatments in holistic medicine for seniors.

Holistic medicine for seniors is not focused on completely overhauling or replacing your current healthcare routines. Instead, it is meant to complement or supplement plans you currently have in place to treat any medical issues you may be facing. For this reason, holistic medicine for seniors focuses less on alternative medications or treatments and more on changes in diet and lifestyle.

For instance, if you live in a senior living or retirement community, holistic medicine for seniors may come in the form of encouraging increased activity and mobility. Many retirement communities and long-term care facilities for seniors now offer classes in tai chi and yoga, as well as massage therapy for extra relaxation. 

Many seniors also supplement their current medications with vitamins and herbal supplements. This form of holistic medicine for seniors has been popular for a long time, and may help you keep many health issues at bay.

Holistic Medicine for Anxiety

Many doctors are quick to prescribe an array of medications for issues such as anxiety. While conventional prescription medicines are a good way to keep your anxiety in check, supplementing them with holistic treatments may also help a great deal. You’re sure to find plenty of benefits in well-thought out holistic medicine for anxiety.

Holistic medicine for anxiety can take many different forms. While there are vitamins and other supplements that work to help you decrease your anxiety, there are ways that you can work to reduce stress without the assistance of medications or supplements. Some holistic treatments for anxiety that are most commonly recommended include:

  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage Therapy
  • Controlled Breathing
  • Yoga and other forms of physical exercise

Holistic Medicine for Cancer

Traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can take a major toll on your body. Because cancer treatment can have such a harsh effect on your body, many physicians recommend utilizing alternative treatments to lessen the blow. As a result, combining conventional medications and holistic medicine for cancer is actually quite popular.

Holistic medicine for cancer combines a number of different treatments to help you combat the negative effects of chemo and radiation. Lifestyle changes, such as getting exercise to keep your body strong and a healthy diet, are often the centerpieces of holistic cancer treatments. Doctors will also suggest a variety of vitamins and supplements that can help you protect yourself from other illnesses while your immune system is compromised due to cancer treatments.

Before Starting a Holistic Medicine Routine, Consult Your Physician

Holistic medicine for seniors can be extremely beneficial in keeping yourself healthy and well. However, certain treatments, medicines, and supplements may not work for you, or they may be harmful to your health. For this reason, it’s important to resist the urge to jump right into a holistic medicine routine.

Before choosing any holistic remedies, consult your physician first. They can help you find a holistic approach that works as a great complement to your current wellness routine without causing harm.

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