"Holistic" - What does this mean to you? - page 2

We hear the term "holistic" all the time, but what does this actually mean? Is this quality important or even worth trying to achieve? Is it relevant at all to the often harsh, tumultuous reality of... Read More

  1. by   amzyRN
    Holistic means taking as much of th whole person into account when treating them for an illness. Mind, body, soul, spirit, culture, etc...Basically don't be a reductionist and merely focus on the measurable components. It surprises me at how many very smart people will adhere to such a small view of living things. I mean, just think about the universe and the fact that we are here in the first place is a miracle.
  2. by   Miss Chybil RN
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I have always viewed the term 'holistic' as 'whole-istic'---meaning that one approaches the patient as a 'whole' person and takes into account not only body, mind, and spirit, but culture, family, friends, and life experience. (In short, everything that makes us who we are.)

    I'll use a resident from my assisted living facility as an example: I learned very early in my association with this woman that all the medication in the world cannot "fix" a human being suffering from spiritual pain. She's lived with chronic pain for many years, but during the course of several rather lengthy discussions with her, I found that as life has become harder for her over the years, the worse the pain has become. Now her spouse of 56 years is dying in a nursing home across town, and the pain is intractable despite massive doses of fentanyl, Vicodin, Neurontin, and amitriptyline. She has always had fibromyalgia and arthritis; but it only became impossible to live with when her husband was transferred a couple of months ago.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand why this is happening, or why medication alone cannot take away the pain. We are presently working with her on non-drug pain management methods, as well as providing willing ears to listen to her concerns; and between all of this, I have to say I think 'crying therapy' is helping her quite a bit. Thank heavens she is able to articulate her pain and distress; there are so many people who can't. And they are the ones who need a 'whole-istic' approach most of all.
    What a nightmare. Too bad she wasn't moved with her husband, or he left with her. Dying would be much nicer for him with her there, I'm sure. If they were together, she could feel a part of the process instead of feeling so powerless and alone.

    I know... there are surely "reasons" they were seperated, but in the end... they were seperated. I wonder what is so unusual about his dying that he has to do it without his wife?