What is a Holistic Doctor?

How Holistic Doctors Treat the Whole Person

Holistic medicine is an approach to healthcare that considers the whole person, including their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, rather than just focusing on symptoms or specific conditions. It emphasizes the interconnectivity of different aspects of a person’s health and recognizes that various factors, such as lifestyle, environment, and emotional state, can impact their overall health.

In an era of specialized medicine, many physicians look at just the symptoms or problem area. Endocrinologists often look at just the thyroid, or just the pancreas.  Cardiologists may look at just the heart. Holistic doctors, however, approach wellness by considering a patient’s overall health rather than just addressing specific symptoms.

Dr. Nishath Hakim, MD, is an integrative medicine doctor based in Royal Oak, MI who takes a holistic approach to her patients’ health and well-being.

The Approach of Holistic Doctors

Typically, holistic doctors will take more time with patients than traditional doctors, taking a more comprehensive medical history and engaging in a more thorough examination. Holistic doctors like Nishath Hakim, MD in Royal Oak focus on the root cause of a patient’s symptoms rather than merely treating the symptoms themselves.

A holistic MD seeks to treat the patient as a whole, integrating multiple aspects of their health and well-being into a comprehensive treatment plan. They view the patient as an active participant in their own care and aim to empower them to make healthy choices and take an active role in their own wellness.

Most holistic doctors also aim to reduce their patients’ reliance on prescription medication, whenever possible, by focusing on lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, and stress reduction to improve the patient’s overall health and prevent future illness.

Are Integrative Medicine & Holistic Doctors the Same?

Holistic and integrative medicine are related approaches to healthcare. Both approaches emphasize the importance of treating the whole person, rather than just the disease or symptoms. And both seek to promote wellness and prevent illness – rather than just waiting until a patient gets sick and then treating the disease.

Holistic medicine, however, has come to be a very broad term that encompasses almost any discipline that addresses the whole person, including physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health. In fact, many service providers who are not actual medical doctors (MDs) may sometimes call themselves ‘holistic practitioners.’ This includes some acupuncturist, herbalists, Reiki masters, and even meditation or yoga teachers.

So, when choosing a ‘holistic doctor’ it is important to make sure that they are also a medical doctor (MD) who has gone to medical school like Dr. Nishath Hakim, MD.

Dr. Hakim is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State Medical School who is a board-certified Internist and Pediatrician. She is also certified in Integrative Medicine through the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABIHM).

Integrative medicine is a more specific term than ‘holistic medicine’ that refers to an actual medical doctor who uses a combination of conventional medicine and complementary therapies. An integrative medical doctor (MD) like Dr. Hakim in Royal Oak uses many of the same traditional medical treatments as all doctors do – such as medications and surgery when needed). But she supplements or combines these conventional medical treatments with evidence-based complementary therapies, such as nutritional counseling, bioidentical hormone therapy, stress management and more.

It is important to understand that the cornerstone of integrative medicine is the use of evidence-based therapies that have been scientifically studied and proven to deliver beneficial results in clinical trials. For example, while Reiki may be considered a ‘holistic therapy’ it does not have evidence-based research behind it that proves it actually works. On the other hand, bioidentical hormone therapy has been extensively tested and has been shown time and again in clinical trials to have many health benefits for certain patients.

The goal of an integrative medical doctor is to use the best available evidence-based treatments from conventional and alternative medicine – along with lifestyle adjustments and natural remedies – to prevent disease and achieve optimal health and wellness.

So, while holistic and integrative medicine share the goal of treating the whole person and promoting wellness, it is important to work with a qualified and experienced integrative medical doctor who can help you choose the best, scientifically proven approach for your individual needs and health concerns.

Studies on the Advantages of Integrative Medicine & Holistic Doctors

There have been several clinical studies conducted that demonstrate the benefits of a holistic, integrative medicine approach. T these studies suggest that integrative medicine can provide significant benefits for patients with chronic conditions, including reduced symptoms, improved quality of life, and reduced healthcare costs.

One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that integrative medicine reduced the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits by patients with chronic pain conditions, leading to cost savings for both patients and healthcare systems.

Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that integrative medicine approaches, such as acupuncture and massage therapy, helped reduce cancer patients’ symptoms and improve their quality of life.

A systematic review of studies on the effectiveness of integrative medicine for the treatment of anxiety and depression found that the approach was beneficial for reducing symptoms and improving patient outcomes compared to conventional treatments alone.

Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that integrative medicine interventions, such as yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction, can improve immune system function and reduce inflammation in patients with chronic conditions.

Holistic Doctor & Integrative Medicine | Royal Oak

Dr. Nishath Hakim, MD is a medical doctor board certified in multiple areas of practice (including integrative medicine) who takes a ‘holistic approach’ to patient wellness. She looks at the whole person, including their lifestyle, diet, and emotional state, as well as their physical symptoms to help them take control of their health.

Using the most advanced testing and diagnostic methods, she offers her patients the best available treatments from conventional, alternative, and natural medicine to treat illness, prevent disease, and achieve optimal health, wellness, and emotional and physical well-being.

Holistic Doctor | Royal Oak:  248-997-4242