Holism, or how the whole can get us out of the hole

Discussions!  The word holistic has long been used as a whipping tool for those who would suggest that a whole person approach is in some way flaky or flawed.  As patients visiting a doctor, we go with a problem to be solved and the doctor in his wisdom sets about finding the way to treat the condition we present with.

It would be naive to suggest that with our current medical model, the medic at the front line of disease fighting has the time, training or inclination to consider the subtleties of the individual.  Yet disease is rarely standardised in humans.  Common symptoms exist, but each person will have a learned response to each situation they find themselves in.

Similarly physical pains can have a myriad of reasons for their manifestation, even though at first glance the pain may be standard.  NSLBP as it is often referred to.  Non Specific Lower Back Pain.  The scourge of most nations, it is one of the biggest causes of lost work time and hence a costly affair for industry and health care alike.

Most nations are traditionally terrible at treating it, for the very reason that our anatomy fails us when looking at the back.  We see a collection of spinal muscles, some fatty stuff at the base, a joint that moves or doesn’t move, depending on who you believe and oh so many theories and stories.

The same pain in a hundred people could and probably does, have a hundred different causes and thereby approaches.  This man’s knees were injured and he compensated when recovering through poor use of his crutches.  This woman carried a toddler for two years on slim hips and used her neck to take most of the weight.

This lady leant over her husband every day for many years to help him get out of bed.  And so on and so forth.  We treat people as conditions, yet don’t often consider the person with the condition.

By considering who a person is, rather than what they are presenting with, our focus changes and our ability to see a different outcome as possible becomes an opportunity.