What is Holistic Pediatrics & How is it Different from Traditional Pediatrics?
Our children today face stressors unlike any other generation. Processed foods, social media, increasing environmental toxins, and changing genetics demand a new approach to pediatric care. Sensory disorders and disorders of the nervous system are increasingly more common and the conventional approach to pediatrics often does not provide the answers.
Most parents are realizing the benefits of seeking holistic pediatric care for their children.
Holistic pediatric care takes an integrative and functional medicine approach by focusing on nutrition and diet, the connection between gut health and brain health, the impact of genetics with lifestyle, and the use of innovative diagnostic technology.
What is Holistic Pediatrics?
Holistic pediatrics is the combination of western medicine and holistic ideologies to provide the child with whole-person health. This means considering not only the body, but the mind and spirit of the child as well. Besides a focus on maintaining a healthy body, holistic pediatrics focuses on preventative care by establishing and maintaining balance in the body, mind, and soul of a child. The holistic pediatrician is a partner in health for you and your child, providing lifestyle and wellness coaching, emotional and mental healthcare, and more.
In holistic pediatrics, prevention and treatment of conditions is not solely focused on eliminating symptoms, but also on getting to the root cause of a condition. This means a holistic pediatrician will take the time to get to know you and your child during your child’s health appointments to understand the factors that contribute to your child’s overall health.
How is Holistic Pediatrics Different from Traditional Western Pediatrics?
Holistic pediatrics is different from traditional western pediatrics because it focuses on the whole child instead of focusing primarily on the child’s physical health. Rather than being a place children and families visit when sick or for annual health checks, holistic pediatrics is a partner in whole health, encompassing the child’s lifestyle and emotional health as well as physical health to provide optimal health and balance.
Whole-Child Approach to Health
One of the biggest differences between traditional pediatrics and holistic pediatrics is the whole-child approach to health. In holistic pediatrics, doctors believe that in addition to the body, the child’s mind and spirit also contribute to their overall health.
This means in addition to sick visits, growth charts, and wellness checks, a holistic pediatrician will also monitor your child’s mental and emotional wellness.
Underlying Causes, Not Just Symptoms
Another major difference between traditional western pediatrics and holistic pediatrics is the focus on determining and treating and underlying cause of a health issue rather than treating the symptoms.
For instance, holistic pediatric doctors believe that treatment for a challenge such as ADD/ADHD should include more than just a behavior-altering prescription drug. It may include considering whether any dietary or lifestyle changes may help to bring the child into balance for improved regulation or may include alternative therapies to improve overall emotional and physical health and eliminate symptoms.
Holistic pediatricians believe that all systems of the body, mind, and emotion are interconnected. When you partner with a holistic pediatrician for your child’s health, you’ll notice they’re less likely to hyper-focus on a single system. Instead, they will look at how the different systems may interact and how that may be impacting the health of your child.
For example, if your child has asthma, instead of focusing purely on the respiratory system as is often seen with traditional western pediatrics, a holistic pediatrician will look at lifestyle, food allergies or sensitivities, or other factors that may be triggering an autoimmune response that may be causing or exacerbating your child’s asthma. Instead of treatment using an inhaler, the child may be advised in dietary or lifestyle changes, allergy treatments, or other remedies that will treat the underlying cause of your child’s asthma.
Pursuing Optimal Health
While all pediatricians seek the optimal health of your child, traditional pediatricians consider health to primarily include the body where a holistic pediatrician will consider the mind and soul as well. This means not only providing diagnoses and treatments for certain conditions, but also providing coaching and recommendations for lifestyle changes that can bring balance to your child’s mind, body, and spirit to improve long-term whole-child health.
Longer Appointments & More Listening
Something parents of children visiting holistic pediatricians often mention is that appointments feel more caring and personal than appointments with traditional pediatricians. Holistic pediatricians truly believe in the power of relationships and know that to achieve optimal health he or she must start with a caring, compassionate, and open relationship between the family, child, and pediatrician. The holistic pediatrician will take the time to get to know your child, their mind, their habits and lifestyle, and more as the holistic pediatrician believes all these factors contribute to your child’s overall health.
Partner in Health
Finally, a holistic pediatrician is more than just the person you see when your child is feeling unwell or to make sure your child is growing properly. A holistic pediatrician partners with you and your child to restore and maintain optimal whole-child health throughout their growing years—and beyond.
Would you like to schedule a visit with a holistic pediatrician at CentreSprings MD? Click to book an appointment below or give us a call for more information about our holistic integrative medical center.