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  • Harvey Young

Approaches to Treatment: Isolation vs Holistic

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Most knowledge about our muscular and skeletal system comes from studying cadavers, a learning approach which has allowed us to study one structure and human system at a time and has given us valuable insight into the hundreds of muscles and bones that we rely on for various movements every single day. As detailed as these cadaver models are, they fail to address the collective understanding of how our whole body works as one unit.

After decades of being influenced by this learning style, an isolation mindset naturally develops, meaning most people think their pain is attributed to only one specific area. “I have slipped a disc”, “I trapped a nerve”, “my abdominal muscle is weak”, “I have a tight muscle”, or I have “X condition” is the style of thinking adopted by most people – not because it’s the best or most effective, but because it’s the easiest to understand.

There is an alternative way of thinking, one which understands that each part of the body cannot and does not exist independently. This holistic approach acknowledges that nothing works in isolation. As an example, when we treat someone with back or neck pain, we look at how their hips, shoulders, pelvis, knees, ankles and entire body are functioning (or not, as it may be) and therefore possibly creating the discomfort or symptoms felt in the back or neck.

There’s a reason for this, and it comes down to how the body is designed to be, and how it changes and evolves over time. Naturally, the human body is symmetrically designed, and when we habitually use it asymmetrically, it won’t be without consequences because the body naturally adapts to asymmetry and imbalance. Over time, this leads to one side of the body moving, feeling and looking quite different from the other side. Move after move, day after day, week after week, year after year, the body continually adapts to the imbalanced movement. When this adaptation reaches the body's limit of how much stress it can take, you’ll feel it – and it could be why you may develop stiffness, tension, aches and pains for no apparent reason.

Main difference between holistic healthcare and isolation treatment

When a holistic approach is applied, the client can be seen as a whole person rather than an individual presenting a specific pain or injury. The practitioner is able to see the bigger picture and address the leading cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms. It takes everything into account and encourages people to take an active part in the treatment process, in that patients can learn what lifestyle changes are required to resolve their issues. Particularly for anyone who feels unsure about how to manage their pain, who feels their treatment might not be working for them anymore, or who experiences fewer symptoms when exercising but more symptoms when resting, a holistic approach to treatment is a great opportunity to take a wider view on all aspects of their health and lifestyle, and address them together rather than individually.

A holistic approach increases self-awareness and self-confidence in patients, as well as improving harmony between mind, body, emotions, and spirit in an ever-changing world.

Our qualified and licensed expertise makes your journey to nervous system and musculoskeletal healthcare a reassuring one. To book a #holistic chiropractic or corrective exercise consultation or find out more about the procedures we offer at our clinics use our online appointment request form or call +44 (0) 20 7193 6272.

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