We can measure health and wellness in multiple ways. They are usually broken down into various diagnoses that often fail to provide a picture of a healthy body and mind. While there is incredible life-saving progress in modern-day western medicine, a less comprehensive approach to healthcare has been its greatest downfall. Western medicine generally believes that health and lifestyle are separate. It views every individual as patients needing a prescription and surgery rather than a complete being with a whole system that needs comprehensive care.
Common medical approach ignores the root cause of health problems and focuses on symptoms. Western medicine’s persistent failure necessitates a holistic approach to healthcare. Holistic care views patients as individuals with a unique medical history, values, desires, social circumstances, family situations, and lifestyle, all of which impact their health conditions and diseases. A medical approach often sees these areas separately. However, they are interconnected and cannot be separated.
Holistic care is defined as an approach that attempts to provide comprehensive care focusing on body, mind, and spirit, which also involves complementary medicines that can overlap with modern-day western medicine. Ultimately, holistic health experts believe that the human body is made up of interdependent parts that must work optimally at all times. When one part fails, all the remaining parts will be affected. Imbalance in any area of a patient’s life – emotional, physical, or spiritual – can trigger a negative impact on their overall health.
In an interview with Top Doctor Magazine, Dr. Ivan Edwards, told us “Medicine has taken a trend where we are treating disease when they occur because we ignored the preventative measures in treating them before they occur.” Dr. Edwards believes that medical treatments need to embody a holistic approach in treating the human body.
Dr. Ivan Edwards is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a veteran serving his country as a USAF Reserve Flight Surgeon. Dr. Edwards explained further, “So, we need to include a non-medicinal approach for treating disease.” The physician urges healthcare providers to act proactively while talking about issues related to diet and exercise. “…we all know it works, but we know people will not comply because people are going to eat what they want to eat.”
Dr. Edwards, the CEO of JOVANA Rehabilitation Medicine in San Antonio, stated further, “We have to take a bold step and dictate what is right for the patients, not just give them medications.” He also explained that this would require a fee, and patients might be charged. “…but they will get the holistic treatment they need and not give them one drug after another. That wasted medicine has to change. We must change that perspective. Yes, medication does have a role, and I am not downplaying that role, but let’s look at a holistic approach to treating people. Let’s include meditation, appropriate diet, exercise, medications, and probably injections if they need one. The military uses multiple pronged approaches by employing the air force, army, and navy. Still, in medicine, we fixate on medication, and if it doesn’t work, we recommend surgery,” Dr. Edwards complained.
While responding to questions during the interview, Dr. Edwards further exposed the flaws in our medical industry and told us, “There is no magic pill that will cure you. You only have to look at the outcomes.” He reiterated that he is not downplaying the use of medications. “…but what I am stressing is the need for a holistic approach. Medications have been on the frontier, and apparently, it’s not doing well overall. Let’s have people do other things.” Dr. Edwards said sternly. Even though people frowned at different therapies, the reality is apparent. “I have traveled extensively and found that some practices and most modalities do work if used in conjunction with what we call traditional western medicine. Sadly, we are quick in dismissing some as wacky. Yes, it’s wacky but let’s look at the outcomes. Why do people who meditate, exercise, and take good care of themselves fair and feel better? Why do people who do whatever they want to do and eat what they want to eat but take the pills don’t get better?” Dr. Edwards asked.
For example, Dr. Edwards continued, “one of my nurses approached me and said she was on sleeping pills because she was stressed, and she told me she doesn’t know how to go about it. I told her to tell her doctor to stop the pills and told her to try not to eat before bed and walk 15 minutes after dinner. She said she would walk 20 minutes after dinner, and she did. She got off the sleeping pills and told me she is sleeping better, and after a few weeks, she told me her health condition has improved. I told her she doesn’t need the pill. Because she felt anxious doesn’t mean she needs pills. You have to check the underlying issues. When you do not live the quality of life, you can’t feel good. Our job is to find that out.”
Health and wellness begin with your mindset. Your mindset is the totality of attitudes and ideas that shape your perspective about the world. Living a healthy life starts with a healthy mindset. To transform yourself, you need to deal with your thoughts, beliefs, excuses, and self-sabotaging paradigm. Since most health problems are interrelated, Dr. Edwards suggests that it is crucial to address the mindset through meditation. “…people who meditate sleep better, think better and cultivate good habits and stick to them. They gain serenity and calmness.” After overcoming this integral part of the journey, “…then we go to the diet. Diets are ingested, exercise induces sleep, works against insomnia, and increases circulation, breathing, and overall good health. That leads to the next stage, which is medication. We might give one if needed.”
While discussing diets and their benefits, Dr. Edwards revealed that inflammatory foods are the biggest threat to our health, and it’s important to stop consuming inflammatory foods in order to have a healthier America. According to a study, one can of soda in a woman increases the risk of a stroke, “…people never hear about that. It does in a man too, but it’s even worse in a woman.” This result did not hit the mainstream because the soda companies obscured the truth. “The soda study was killed because soda has to sell. But it is affecting low-income communities. The truth is a can of soda increases the risk of stroke.” Dr. Edwards said.
The idea of meditation is that people have to affirm that they are going to do better. There is a lot of stress happening, and stress causes diseases. We have to get rid of stress because it attacks the mind first, and if the mind is stressed, the body is not going to do well. So, the idea of meditation has to be internalized, and we have to get better. That in itself is hope. Exuberance and confidence have to take root in us, and we have to know this is the first step in the right direction. Someone who is depressed must be treated for depression first. The mind has to fall in place. When it does, the body does the same thing.