Is a Chiropractor a Holistic Doctor?

Many people are increasingly searching for treatments outside of the mainstream to solve their health issues. Access to the internet has given people the chance to find remedies and schools of healing that are free from many of the negative side effects so common to mainstream medicine. Two of the most effective types of treatment are holistic medicine and chiropractry. Due to the fact that these methods of treatment are often largely ignored by the mainstream many people are confused about what exactly they are and if there is any crossover between the two.

What is a chiropractor and what is a holistic doctor?

A chiropractor is a health professional who is skilled in the techniques of chiropractry. The literal meaning of the term is ‘to perform with the hands’ and in the minds of many a chiropractor is someone who manipulates the spine and surrounding muscles in order to produce health benefits. But there is far more to a chiropractor’s work than simple spinal manipulation. There are many different approaches taken by chiropractors and these can involve a wide range of treatments including those drawn from the disciplines of physical therapy, holistic healing and massage. Just as there are many types of doctor, there are many types of chiropractor.

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that focuses on the entire human being rather than narrowly on a specific ailment. Modern Western medicine is often criticized for narrowly seeking to cure a particular problem at the expense of wider wellness. For example, some treatments, such as painkillers, are effective at achieving their narrow purpose but may lead to severe side effects. A holistic doctor is a subscriber to the holistic view of health and is one who feels that it is impossible to separate physical ailments from mental and spiritual maladies. Holistic doctors seek to treat the entire patient as an interconnected and interdependent entity rather than a system consisting of separate components.

Many people are unfamiliar with the work of chiropractors and holistic doctors and therefore question whether the two are one and the same. There are such things as holistic chiropractors, but this does not mean that all chiropractors are holistic doctors, nor does it mean that any holistic doctors practice chiropractic methods.

How can you tell if a chiropractor is holistic?

“If a chiropractor takes the approach that their patient must be treated as an entire whole then they are practicing a form of holistic medicine.” Says Dr. Lee, owner of Riverside Family Chiropractic

Traditional chiropractry treatments such as spinal manipulation also tie in with a holistic view of medicine. Through the manipulation of the spinal column chiropractors are able to treat a diverse range of conditions such as neck pain, asthma, headaches and more. This is achieved through recognition of the fact that the body is interconnected. This can even be proved on a scientific level through the fact that nerve endings travel up and down the spine which send sensory messages from the brain, throughout the body, and back again.

One of the main treatments employed by a chiropractor is spinal manipulative therapy. This is the process by which spinal joints are manipulated with various motions, forces and pressures in order to extend them beyond their normal range of motion, but not to an extent which is dangerous. This can be achieved through the gradual application of pressure or more sudden, forceful movements. This has the eventual outcome of relieving pain throughout the body and providing a greater ultimate range of motion than the patient initially experienced.

Two of the most common and traditional problems treated by a chiropractor are neck and back pain. The link between the conditions and their treatment is obvious due to the fact that they are focused in the same physical area of the body. It is also possible for a chiropractor to improve a wide range of other problems as well. These include headaches, stress, soreness, insomnia and many others. The way in which a chiropractor is able to treat these concerns ties in with the holistic approach to medicine. The work of a chiropractor is proof that manipulating one area of the body can have significant positive impact on other areas.

A chiropractor who practices their work as a form of holistic medicine is often keen to incorporate aspects of disciplines other than traditional chiropractry into their work. These are commonly drawn from areas such as massage therapy, physio therapy, yoga, meditation and other more esoteric spiritual practices. The way in which these work are due to the fact that the human body is in fact a holistic system. When a person experiences the relief of stress through any method whatsoever their body is more receptive to healing in the physical sense conferred by chiropractry. A true holistic doctor skilled in the practice of chiropractry will not draw a distinction between different schools of treatment but will instead view them as interconnected tools forming a total system of care and healing.

How do you find a quality holistic chiropractor?

It is important to ask the right questions of a potential chiropractor in order to ensure they have the right outlook on holistic health. Asking whether they practice any techniques aside from traditional chiropractry will indicate the extent to which they are willing to view a patient holistically. Just because a chiropractor has a holistic outlook it does not automatically make them the right choice of healer for a certain situation. It is important to ask whether the chiropractor has specific experience and skill in helping the health condition at hand. Chiropractors with both experience and a holistic outlook are the ideal choice.

The body, mind and spirit are not separate, rather they are totally interconnected. It is therefore vital to find a doctor that appreciates and understands this interwoven system we call the human body. This will lead to the best possible health benefits for the patient.

6 Reasons You Should Consider Visiting a Holistic Doctor


Holistic treatment focuses on you as a whole person, instead of narrowing down to the disease you are suffering from. In other words, when you go to a holistic doctor, they will approach your treatment from your whole ‘wellness’ and not only the symptoms of what you are suffering from. It addresses ow your body , spirit and mind work to ensure that you are functioning well.

How does a holistic doctor work?

Holistic doctors work by integrating both the conventional medicine and alternative therapies to treat a patient in all levels. Combining both therapies is not meant to compete but complement each other to find the most efficient way of completely healing you if you are a patient. Some of the most common methods of alternative therapy include aromatherapy, acupuncture, using herbs and traditional medicines, among others.

1. They focus on what is causing your disease, and not just symptoms

You have to admit that most doctors are always in a hurry to prescribe medication for your symptoms. Often, they miss out on what could be causing these symptoms in the first place. One of the greatest benefits of visiting a holistic doctor is the fact that they go beyond the outside symptoms you manifest. For instance, if you are suffering from a headache, instead of prescribing painkillers, they will look at other possible causes. Are you stressed? What do you eat? How is your lifestyle? among other things. So you will be healed both on the outside and inside.


2. You are involved in your own healing
There is always a power distance when it comes to the relationship between regular doctors and their patients. You get into a doctors office, explain your symptoms, and wait with baited breath for them to tell you what to do. You rarely have a say on what they will prescribe for you, and they almost never ask for your involvement. On the other hand, a holistic doctor will work with you towards your own healing. When you step into their office, you can be sure of a step by step journey together in an effort to find out what works best for you.


3. They have the ‘prevention is better than cure’ philosophy

Another of the many benefits of visiting holistic doctors is the fact that they focus on preventing diseases. Unlike traditional treatment methods that concentrate on finding a cure to what you already have, holistic doctors work in preventing that which you could develop. They emphasize on your whole wellness, so that you do not get sick in the first place.


4. Less harmful treatment options

Holistic doctors always opt for non invasive forms of treatment when you are seeking treatment. Most of the options available are gentle, natural and harmless to the body. So, you do not have to worry about irreversible damage being done to your body.


5. Holistic doctors empower you
Since they work together with you, they tell you all there is about your body and wellness. You get to learn about how your body functions, and what your lifestyle contributes towards your whole being. They are like teachers who educate you on the best practices when it comes to being healthy and living a stress free life. In short, visiting a holistic doctor is like going to a teacher to teach you all you need to know about taking care of yourself whether you are sick or not.


6. Cost effective
Most of the treatment options provided by holistic doctors are always cost effective compared to exclusive use of conventional medicine. It is a bigger advantage if you have been dealing with a recurring condition. Since the doctors giving holistic treatments always work on preventing the disease from coming back, you can imagine how much money you will save in the long run.


These are some of the reasons why you should consider going to holistic doctors. However, you should always do your research before booking an appointment with any doctor. Ensure that he/she is well trained to give the treatment. You should also choose the one who is willing to dedicate their time with you so that you get the healing you need.

What is a Holistic Doctor?

Traditionally, health care and medicine seek to establish a person’s health by ensuring the absence of any illness or disease. This is much different from a holistic approach, which considers many other factors.  Your physical, emotional, social, economic and spiritual requirements are all assessed by a doctor who practices holistic medicine.

Alternative, Complimentary and Holistic Medicine

While the terms alternative, complimentary and holistic medicine are often used interchangeably, alternative and complementary medicine are actually two different types of treatment. Holistic medicine is instead defined by the fact that its practitioners embrace a wider ranging system of treatment. Holistic medicine relies on the treatment of the body, the mind and the spirit.

In contrast, alternative medicine utilizes techniques that are not accepted by conventional medical doctors and complementary uses non-standard techniques along with conventional medicine. The holistic approach may utilize alternative methods and may thereby considered as similar to a complimentary approach. Alternative medicine may be utilized in experimental non-drug and drug related methods of treatment that may not yet be accepted by traditional physicians.

Since the broadening of terminology related to alternative medicine such as complimentary and holistic medicine, there is a common understanding that holistic techniques are gaining a foothold in the medical community.

Here is a short video that explains the difference between the traditional medical model and holistic medicine

How Holistic Medicine Works

A holistic doctor may be somewhat familiar to most people, but a viable definition of what it really means to receive holistic care is necessary for those who want to receive this type of treatment.  People who want holistic care, or people who want to provide holistic care need to be able to define what is being given and what is being received. More importantly, the definition must be used so that holistic methods can be documented, replicated and taught as needed for success.

Holistic care looks at all factors that might have an impact on a patient’s health. If someone is suffering from one or more ailments, they may simply need to be healthier in order for their body to fight off diseases, or to heal better when they are injured. Human behavior and mental state play a major role in motivating someone to be active to stay fit, eat the right foods and to avoid harmful habits.


Part of the holistic approach is to identify not only the disease or injury, but to find out what is preventing a patient’s health.  For example, depression could cause someone to eat more than they should, or drink alcohol. These behaviors can cause health problems that would traditionally be helped with advice and medicine. The holistic approach might instead address the reason for the depression and suggest a lifestyle change that would address that component of the patient’s health and well-being.

By approaching medicine in this way, a holistic doctor seeks to impart a healing process to the patient’s mind, body and spirit.  All of these systems need to work in harmony in order for a person to be healthy. The holistic approach recognizes this synergy, and works to correct the most affected part of that equation.