Medicine is both a science and an art. It is a science because it relies upon systematic research and experimentation to investigate diseases and conditions that ail the body, and it relies upon empirical evidence to provide treatment for those diseases and conditions. It is also an art because the practice of medicine also affects emotions, psychology, and social dynamics.
When we feel ill, we tend to go and see a doctor. Often, we end up going to a doctor that specializes in treating a particular part of our body ( a dermatologist, a podiatrist, an ENT, etc.), and most of these doctors focus on symptom relief. This approach can be appropriate and even ideal for many acute illnesses and diseases. However, for chronic diseases and conditions for which there is no instantaneous relief or cure, medical care needs to go beyond the relief of symptoms. This is where a holistic approach to healthcare comes into the picture.
If you are interested in a holistic approach to your healthcare, a common alternative to relying solely on conventional medicine is integrative or complementary medicine. Complementary medicine incorporates various “non-conventional” therapies that are used alongside traditional medical treatments. The purpose is to utilize non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical options that strengthen, support and complement the primary source of treatment a patient is receiving.