“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Medical herbalists diagnose and treat individuals in a holistic way. This means we look at the whole person – as well as your diet, lifestyle, sleep habits and medical history, we talk about your hobbies, relationships, what you do for fun and what makes you tick.
Rather than thinking of the body as simply a collection of individual parts – for example, thinking of back pain as simply a ‘back problem’ – all body systems are seen to interact with each other in complex ways to bring about overall health. Diseases of particular organs are not seen in isolation, but as part of a wider picture of disorder within the body.
This is especially true where the brain is concerned. The influence of the mind on health, and vice versa, is heavily stressed in holistic medicine. For example, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that physical inflammation in the body from conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, gut problems or just poor diet & lifestyle, is associated with inflammation in the brain, having a direct effect on psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And vice versa – low mood and low self-esteem can have a detrimental effect on our physical health, causing inflammatory responses and depressing the immune system.
Holistic medicine also believes in the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and this is why we use plant-based medicines, or herbal medicine. Plants contain a mind-bogglingly large array of active chemicals that work together to subtly ‘nudge’ human physiology towards self-correction, and promote good health.