The basic difference between holistic and western medicine is in the way they approach ailments. The word holistic has been derived from the Greek word ‘halos’. The meaning of ‘halos’ is whole or total. Holistic medicine has a wholesome approach towards healthcare. It takes into account an individual’s mind, body and spirit during treatment. Western medicine is more pragmatic and scientific. It does not acknowledge the effect or impact of the mind or spirit on the body. It relies solely on hard core evidence of facts. Western medicine can only treat ailments by judging the symptoms. Both are effective in their own way and helps in the restoration of health. The main differences between holistic and western medicine are discussed in the following.
Western medicine gets full insurance coverage whereas in most cases holistic medicine stays uncovered. Depending on the nature of the treatment holistic medical treatments are sometimes covered by medical insurance policies. But there is no general rules regarding this. Western medical treatments fall under the insurance policy coverage and the patients can get a reimbursement almost in all cases. People find it difficult to get holistic or alternative therapies without the backing of their insurance policies. Western medicine is more standardized and follows particular rules set by governments and the health insurance industry. Alternative medical therapies are not regulated by rules of standardization. The care and services provided by different holistic medicine practitioners may vary.
Perspective and diagnosis:
Western medicine observes diseases from a scientific and factual perspective. It believes in looking at the symptoms rather than looking at the individual. According to science the elements that contribute to health disorders are bacteria, protozoa, virus and genes. Holistic medicine looks at ailments from an individualistic perspective. It believes that the lifestyle choices made by an individual and the environment they live in affects their health. Holistic medicine helps the patients incorporate positive lifestyle changes in their life. Holistic treatments include dietary changes and exercising along with herbal medication, acupuncture, Reiki and meditation. Western medicine diagnoses health troubles with the help of blood tests, ECG, brain scans, and ultrasound tests. Lifestyle changes are not always suggested and patients are treated with the help of synthetic medicines or surgeries.