Holistic Practices

By Regan Wilton and Elana Zerebilov

Essential Questions

What is holistic medicine? What are the differences between holistic medicine and allopathic medicine? Give an example of the differences


What are some holistic modalities?


What places in Lancaster county provide holistic services?


What are the advantages and disadvantages of allopathic vs. holistic medicine?

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Definition of Holistic and Allopathic Medicine

Holistic medicine treats patient’s whole body, not just the problem location. It looks at the patient’s overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state with the goal of optimizing health. Holistic practices view the body’s systems as interdependent and that the natural body is one of health. Illness is an imbalance in the body. Holistic practices aim at preventing illnesses by maintaining balance in the body.



Allopathic medicine is also known as modern or traditional medicine. Allopathic Medicine treats diseases with remedies such as drugs or surgery that produces effects different from the disease. Allopathic medicine focuses on reducing symptoms, but not necessarily curing the whole cause of the symptoms.


Example of the differences between Allopathic medicine and Holistic medicine in Cancer Treatment

Allopathic treatment includes the removal of the cancer (tumor)to prevent growth or spread of the cancer. This is done through chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation, or surgery. Treatment is painful, toxic, and gives unpredictable but typically successful results.

Holistic Treatment is typically integrated with allopathic treatment, and helps to decrease pain while improving recovery and the quality of life for the patient. The goal is to heal the entire patient: spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Holistic Modalities


  • Acupuncture: Stimulates the body’s own ability to heal. Treatment through acupuncture involves pricking the skin with hair thin needles to alleviate pain and improve various mental, physical, and emotional conditions.

  • Chiropractic Medicine: Based on the idea that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is properly aligned and the nervous system is functioning correctly. The practitioner uses his/her hands to manipulate the vertebrae.

  • Meditation: Relaxing and quieting the mind to relieve muscle tension and help bring inner peace.

  • Acupressure: Uses finger and hand pressure on specific body points to release tension and restore the natural flow of energy in the body.

  • Aromatherapy: The use of essential oils (such as herbs) to treat physical imbalances. These oils are applied externally, inhaled, or ingested.

  • Cranial Osteopathy: Manipulation of the skull to re-establish its natural configuration. The skull is massaged gently.

  • Massage: The rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints to dispel tension, increase circulation, and relieve pain.

  • Trigger Point Therapy: A trigger point is a tight portion of the muscle that causes pain in a different section of the body. For example, an active trigger point in the neck may cause pain down the arms and back of the patient. Trigger point therapy aims to relive this referred pain by working out the trigger points.


Picture URL - http://www.katyacupuncture.com/


*Keep in mind there are many more types of Holistic Modalities.

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Places in Lancaster County that provide holistic services

-Lightworks Therapeutic Massage & Holistic Services

-Natural Healing Center LLC: Naturopathic Treatments, Medical Massage, Therapeutic Massage

-Alicia's Massage & Wellness Center

-Lancaster Medical Acupuncture

-Restoration Spa: Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Customized Facials, Skin Care Products, Therapeutic Body Massage, Lymphatic Massage

Advantages And Disadvantages

Holistic medicine:

One advantage of holistic medicine is that the patient receives personal one-on-one attention from the practitioner and is not distracted with busy waiting rooms or pressured by insurance companies. Also holistic medicine uses natural products, such as herbs and minerals making it safer than allopathic medicine. It is better for preventing illnesses because it encompasses a broad range of therapies, making positive results a more likely possibility. Another plus is that no surgical interventions are necessary.


There are a few disadvantages to holistic medicine. For one, the scientific research is limited for the effectiveness of holistic medicine. Also, there are no immediate or visible improvements because it usually takes longer for effects to take place. Holistic treatment tends to be more expensive than allopathic medicine, because health insurances do not cover the expenses of holistic treatments fully.


Allopathic medicine:

Allopathic medicine has increased life expectancy, and has cured previously incurable diseases. Thanks to allopathic medicine, problems are diagnosed faster and more accurately. Allopathic medicine is great when the body is in a crisis and needs immediate care.


A disadvantage of allopathic medicine is it prescribes drugs as a method of cure and most of the drugs prescribed have unforeseen side-effects. Drugs typically suppress symptoms and do not cure the overarching problems within the body. Allopathic medicine also does not detect imbalances in the body.