What professional do you turn to when you want to talk about your health?
Most people would answer, "My doctor, of course."
But here's a little secret when it comes to the medical field . . . While conventional doctors can talk to you about drugs and surgery, few are equipped to talk about health and wellness. That's why an increasing number of people consult with holistic doctors as well.
Holistic medicine is, simply put, medicine that treats you as a whole person. Holistic medical doctors take all the facets of your health into account when developing a path towards wellness
We have earned our MD's by going through conventional medical schools. And
Instead, holistic doctors bring nutrition, lifestyle
It is a rich and powerful form of healthcare that goes well beyond the limited scope you find in conventional, pharmaceutical-oriented medicine.
Are We Moving Towards Holistic Medicine?
Currently, we're seeing a dramatic shift in how medicine is practiced. Many doctors like me have realized the limits to conventional health care and have taken the initiative to expand their expertise. Likewise, millions of people have taken control of their health and now seek out holistic doctors, opting for care that focuses on wellness.
Some medical schools - like University of Arizona's School of Integrative Medicine - are expanding their medical courses to meet this new understanding of health. And some health insurance companies have covered some holistic therapies like acupuncture.
However, conventional medicine, in many respects, also seems to be going in the other direction.
In 2004 a group of researchers from the North Carolina University School of Nutrition surveyed 104 medical schools to see how much they covered the topic of nutrition. In 2004, they found that only 38% of the schools taught the 25 hours recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
Given how important nutrition is for health, 25 hours is paltry compared to what doctors really need to serve their patients well.
Unfortunately, the results of this study did not improve with time. In 2010, these same researchers surveyed 105 medical schools. And this time they found the number of schools meeting this recommendation had dropped - to only 28%. Also, these researchers found fewer medical schools surveyed in 2010 required a dedicated nutrition course as part of their graduation requirements and the average number of hours each student spent studying nutrition had dropped as well. 
By not learning much about nutrition, doctors are missing out on some important factors in healing. Thanks to a growing body of research we know in many cases nutrition
- A handful of nuts a day does far more good for your heart than statins.
- Fish oil can do more for depression than many antidepressants;
- And digestive enzymes beat out prescription anti-inflammatories for joint pain and muscle problems.
But despite this evidence, if doctors want to delve into nutrition in any meaningful way, they have to learn about it on their own time. They won't learn it in medical school.
Other healing modalities like acupuncture, meditation and herbal medicine that have solid research behind them are also being ignored in medical schools. This is despite the fact many of these "alternative" healing approaches yield better results than conventional medicine and are usually safer with fewer side effects.
In addition, at a time when the costs of healthcare is grabbing everyone's attention - natural health care is almost always much more affordable.
How Holistic Doctors Expand Your Health Care Options
Good health is the result of your whole body working together in relative harmony.
There really is no excuse for doctors to ignore the resources we have at our disposal to help our patients enjoy good health. And - as the number of people using holistic doctors demonstrates - patients don't buy that excuse either.
Holistic doctors have responded to this shift in thinking. We straddle the worlds of conventional medicine and natural healing, allowing patients to make use of both areas of health in a complementary fashion. Since we are trained in medicine, board-certified as MD's, we can serve as their primary care providers for people who are seeking both in a physician.
And for people who have conventionally-trained doctors, we can strengthen the
Ultimately, by bridging this gap, we're expanding the options you have for maintaining and enjoying excellent health.
About Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum, MD
Dr. Rosenbaum is a 35-year veteran and widely recognized pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, alternative healthcare and medical acupuncture. As one of America's most respected experts in natural health and healing, Dr. Rosenbaum has been a frequent lecturer to professional medical groups and has participated in numerous television and radio talk shows. He is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.
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