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What is Holistic Medicine?
The AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) defines holistic (or integrative) medicine as “ the examination and diagnosis of an animal, considering all aspects of the animal's life and employing all of the practitioner's senses, as well as the combination of conventional and alternative (or complementary) modalities of treatment. When a holistic veterinarian sees a pet, besides giving it a comprehensive physical examination, he/she wants to find out all about its behaviors, distant medical and dietary history, and its environment including diet, emotional stresses, and other factors”. Holistic thinking centers on love, empathy and respect. A holistic practitioner considers the “whole picture” of the patient. The goal in holistic medicine is to follow the most effective, least invasive, and least harmful path to cure for each patient.
It is important to keep in mind that a holistic veterinarian may also employ traditional modalities such as surgery and drug therapy especially in acute, emergency conditions. Traditional medicine holds great value in these situations. A combination of both traditional and holistic medicine may be prescribed as indicated. Once the acute condition is treated additional holistic therapies are then employed to help the patient’s body restore balance by redirecting the disease state.
Here are some of the modalities used in holistic veterinary medicine. Follow this link for additional information regarding the different modalities and the AHVMA: http://ahvma.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=132