What is Holistic Medicine?

vaughn

I’m going to start this little side blog here busting out OPINION as opposed to strictly pet pieces and information brought to you by drug manufacturers and other heavy players in the health game.  I mean, you all know by now that music is good for you, but how many of you actually sit down and try to listen to it?  Hopefully, we have 100% buy-in for Corner Vet clients because you know how we do!  I spent 10 years traveling the nation, and world on occasion, talking to students and other young vets about the importance of holistic medicine.  I was not on stage sprinkling oil or Oregano on everyone, or tossing herbs in the air, because that is not holistic medicine… that would actually be closer to homeopathy, or even allopathy.  That is certainly part of the treatment at a holistic vet, but a holistic vet is one that spends more than 10 minutes in the room with you and determines the ROOT of your SYMPTOMS as opposed to simply treating a symptom and moving on.

I’m not saying I get it right every time, but if given enough opportunity, I can sniff it out.  This has been the truth for me in veterinary medicine, because it makes me feel so clean to work on a case.  Holistic medicine is the WHOLE, the everything, the entire picture.  Where does this cat live?  What does this dog eat?  When?  Does she like it?  Does that cat stare out the door?  Does she climb up trees?  Play with water?  Do vaccines appeal to you?  Do YOU camp?  Do you walk your dog once, twice, three times a day or only push it around in a basket on your bike on Town Lake while wearing your flyest tank top?  DOES ALL OF THIS HAPPEN OR NONE OF IT HAPPEN?  Laugh now, but the answers always make sense, because the more knowledge I can gather, the more I am able to tap into my broad sense of health and medicine, not to mention meeting with the full team, and find a solution to match the scenario. What an asset.  Holistic also means knowing your limitations and when the client needs to see a fresh eye, a new approach, or even a specialist.

For me, holistic medicine also covers another other aspect of medicine that is rarely considered and that is the relationship between doctor and human-client.  Too many times we rely on the pet to give all the signals when deep down, that client is holding some clues that they do not yield simply because the question was not asked.  Holistic means spending time with each client so they feel a connection – a bond and a sense of humility, trust, and confidence. And, when both parties convey connection, magic really does happen.

The vet’s office is the last place you want to feel guilt, shame, or a sense of protection, because by letting it all out, more is uncovered.  This responsibility comes down squarely on the staff of the hospital and ultimately, the relationship is forged by that first greeting of the doctor.  I always try my hardest to engage everyone in the room, not because I need to solve a case, but because I want everyone to be fulfilled and involved in what’s going on with the pet.  Cultivating love in and out of the room is important when disarming dis-ease.

Holistic is a practice in life and in work, and it requires balance between two equal parties.  The results are incredible and typically lasting well after the veterinary visit.  Truth be told, it is important to me to practice this way.  I enjoy the cases floating around in my head, and I certainly enjoy seeing clients out in public with complements on their tongue and smiles on their faces.  I eat this stuff like pure energy.  Brinkley’s mommy… you hearing me out there?  I am proud to be in a city like Austin, proud to have influences from the West Coast, the East Coast, and the South, and proud to practice veterinary medicine with a passion that is only challenged by my passion for life itself.  Thank you for joining me in this quest for a better way to practice medicine – not only in animals, but also in our own health.

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