Medical science has advanced tremendously during the last century. Now it is possible to prevent many diseases which caused mortality in the past. But regardless of the advanced technologies used in diagnosing and in treatments, the scientists have not been able to find complete answers for the treatment of complex conditions such as chronic pelvic pain, unexplained infertility or psychosomatic diseases which are increasing every day in developed, as well in developing countries. As a result, over the last 15-20 years people have started to look more often for complementary and alternative ways of treatment including: Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, naturopathy, homeopathy, etc. We can consider those complimentary treatments as a holistic approach towards human health.Rather than focusing on the biomedical aspect or specific parts of the body and therefore only treating the symptomsas in Western medicine,Holistic medicine emphasizes the connection of mind, body and spirit. Therefore Holistic Health is defined as a complete approach to health that emphasizes the need to look at the whole person including the physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual aspects.
Here, achieving optimum health is not treating a disease but preventing a disease. Holistic Health implies that people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being and take charge of their own health.As well, the holistic practitioner has a very important role in this kind of treatment.
Examples of holistic health systems can be found as far back as 5,000 years ago in India and China. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras- an ancient Indian scripture, mentions yoga and meditation as the most essential techniques to keep the body and mind healthy.
During the last two decades many healthcare professionals, involved in treatment of chronic pain, realized that they have to move beyond the old biomedical concept towards the broader bio-psycho social (holistic) model of treatment. It is not possible to treat complex pain conditions without taking into consideration the psychological and social aspects of the patient’s illness. The understanding that a patient could be physically fit, but emotional problems or social isolation could make him very sick, determines the need to view disease as a disturbance to the whole organism.
This is now supported by medical research which shows that certain types of yoga and meditation can be helpful in the treatment and prevention of psychosomatic diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, migraine, bronchial asthma, multiple sclerosis and spondylitis, to name a few.