Sometimes simply taking traditional over-the-counter medications might not always the best way to cure an ailment. A more holistic approach is often an option for many looking for natural ways to cure things like a headache.
This could include using spices, teas and other foods, or trying light exercises and stretching such as yoga or Pilates. These alternative ways of curing ailments and illnesses are a more holistic approach when it comes to your health.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is an attitudinal approach to health care rather than a particular set of techniques. It addresses the psychological, familial, societal, ethical and spiritual as well as biological dimensions of health and illness. It also emphasizes the uniqueness of each patient, the mutuality of the doctor-patient relationship, each person’s responsibility for his or her own health care and society’s responsibility for the promotion of health.
In short, it addresses the person’s entire body. For example, if you go to the doctor for a headache a medical doctor might suggest medication or even MRI. However, a holistic or naturopathic doctor would look at your lifestyle and might suggest the root cause of the headache is something like stress and build a healthcare plan from there.
Ashley Cohen, a physician assistant and pharmaceutical researcher, said holistic medicine covers several aspects of your lifestyle, from the types of food you eat to the type of skincare and household products you use.
“So down to the water that we drink, making sure that we have properly filtered water that we are getting minerals and electrolytes in our water,” Cohen said. “There’s a lot of stuff on the market that actually has and can release toxic chemicals into our food. So really getting knowledgeable about the best, you know, types of cooking equipment to use.”
Cohen added that some of the items for holistic remedies for things like the common cold and a headache might even already be in your cabinet.
Exploring Holistic Remedies
Cohen recommends eating things like a high-quality bone broth, chicken bone or beef bone broth is great for your gut health. She says the majority of our immune system and also mental health all of that starts in the gut in the microbiome, so, having a healthy gut can help combat some illnesses.
Women should also be sure to get enough Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc. You can get Vitamin C by squeezing lime or lemon in your water or adding it to your salad. Also, oranges and orange juice are good sources of Vitamine C.
Staying hydrated with the help of electrolytes and adding more turmeric, garlic, and chili powder to food is also a good idea. Cohen says having a little spice actually helps with the vasodilation or blood flowing and moving better. Ginger tea or ginger crushed up in warm water can help to ease digestion.
Hydration is key, and it’s important to make sure you are getting electrolytes. Magnesium capsules are also good to take. Check the ingredients of any capsules or supplements to be sure of the ingredients and get advisement from your health professional as well.
Magnesium is also a good option to combat issues, along with using a heating pad for discomfort. Cohen also recommended trying deep breathing to reduce stress, as too much stress can increase cramping. Ginger tea or ginger crushed up in warm water can help with nausea and ease digestion.
“We’re all different,” Cohen added. “So, our best source of knowledge is going to be ourselves. We really do all have this inner knowing of what is best for us.”
She also said it is important to speak with your healthcare provider or a naturopathic doctor before trying any of these to make sure your body does not have any food or other sensitivities.