What Is Holistic Primary Care and How Is It Different? - Salveo Direct Care

What Is Holistic Primary Care and How Is It Different?

December 28, 2022
holistic primary care san antonio

It’s estimated that a third of Americans use alternative medicine. Holistic primary care in San Antonio, TX, is growing in popularity. It seems that patients are starting to search for medical help from different sources.

This isn’t surprising, considering the holistic primary care philosophy. It’s an approach that considers the patient’s complete profile and sees the patient as a whole instead of a diagnosis. This also holds true in the solution offered by holistic care, too, where every aspect of a patient’s life is considered.

If you’re interested in learning more about holistic primary care and how it compares to modern health care, consider reading ahead.

Holistic Primary Care

Holistic primary care is a broad set of techniques and approaches used as alternatives and is complementary to modern health care. It’s different in almost every aspect when compared to modern medicine. One of the primary things that stands out in holistic medicine is the intense focus on the patient.

Holistic medicine looks at a patient’s complete medical profile, with a strong focus on proper diagnosis on all fronts. This includes their lifestyle, family situation, friends, diet, economic situation, hygiene, and work conditions. This can also vary, though, depending on the patient.

A holistic doctor will see a patient as a person rather than a collection of signs, symptoms, and disorders that need to be cured. So, the focus changes from finding a solution to a specific problem to finding multiple ways to improve a person’s overall life. Many consider this a more humane way to treat sickness and promote wellness.

Natural Remedies

Holistic medicine tries to minimize the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs at all costs. It has a strong focus on natural remedies along with supplements that come from plants and herbs. These are rarely provided to patients alone, though.

Supplements and herbs will always be provided along with some lifestyle change guidance and therapies. Additionally, a holistic doctor will always consider your diet, exercise routine, habits, and stressors. This helps provide a diagnosis and better understanding of your mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional situation.

There are various types of holistic care, but herbal remedies are prevalent in their approach as a whole. They seemingly provide many benefits often with less of the adverse side effects you’d expect from pharmaceuticals. Three of the most common herbs include turmeric, ginger, and rosemary. Natural remedies can also come in the form of ointments, essential oils, and syrups.

Types of Holistic Care

There are five primary types of holistic practices that are well known today, but hundreds of alternative holistic healing practices accompany them. The big five are energy therapies, alternative medical systems, mind-body interventions, body-based methods, and biologically-based treatments.

Learning more about these five options is an excellent start for anyone just getting started learning about holistic medicine.

Alternative Medical Systems

Alternative medical systems are those that have a structured approach that steers clear of the Western process. The most common examples include acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathy, Oriental medicine, and naturopathy.

Biologically-Based Therapies

Biologically-based therapies are alternative treatments in holistic medicine that take advantage of natural substances. This can include animal-derived extracts, vitamins, probiotics and prebiotics, fatty acids, amino acids, and botanicals. It’s often used to ensure a patient gets the proper nutrients.

Body-Based Methods

In holistic medicine, body-based methods are a complementary therapy that works directly with the patient’s body. It’s also referred to as bodywork. In many cases, the treatment involves manual pressure on specific body parts. But it can also extend to massages, reflexology, and even aromatherapy.

Energy Therapies

Energy therapy is supported by the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. A holistic doctor that uses this form of alternative medicine has a specific goal in mind, which is to regulate and balance the energy flow in a patient. This helps to reduce stress and anxiety, a necessary step in achieving wellness.

Mind-Body Interventions

Mind-body interventions are an involved form of working with the interactions between the brain, body, mind, and behavior of a patient. It leverages the mind to positively impact the body and promote wellness. Two common methods to achieve this involves yoga and meditation.

Here at Salveo Direct Care we utilize a number of holistic and alternative treatments that complement modern medical care.

Patient-Specific Holistic Care

Following the holistic primary care philosophy, treatment options depend almost entirely on the patient. While there are common approaches used in many cases, it’s crucial for holistic healers to consider each patient’s situation. There are different essential factors to consider when treating men, women, and children.


Some of the factors that are most apparent when working with men in holistic healing include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Testosterone levels
  • Alopecia
  • Indigestion


When approaching women with holistic medicine, it’s vital to prioritize looking at hormone levels, stress, and nutrition. Here are a few other factors that rise to the top:

  • Fertility
  • Perimenopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Family and friendships

Children and Young Adults

Children and young adults require the most attention, as they have the most potential to change quickly. Here, holistic doctors look at the basics, including genetics, environment, and eating habits. It’s usually best if a team of holistic doctors work together to review the following factors:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Lactation history
  • Difficulties with learning

The Holistic Primary Care Philosophy

The holistic primary care approach is all about assisting a patient’s innate ability to heal. It’s a principal-based, rather than technique-based, approach. It’s also important to understand that the patient is viewed as more than just a body; they combine physical, emotional, social, mental, environmental, and spiritual areas.

Additionally, all of these areas that form a person impact each other. So, if one’s mental situation isn’t optimal, it can throw their entire system out of balance. This results in more issues showing up in other areas, like the spiritual or social.

Love, compassion, kindness, and humor are the foundation for holistic care treatment. The combination of unconditional love and physical care provides the best results. It’s the proper approach to understanding the mental, physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual wellness of each patient.

There are three other pillars to consider when it comes to holistic medicine. These are disease prevention, underlying causes, and illness imbalance.

Disease Prevention

Instead of putting all effort into dealing with the symptoms of a disease, holistic healing also strongly considers disease prevention as essential. In fact, preventing an illness is a better situation than having to treat it. So, a good holistic doctor aims to avoid letting a patient get sick in the first place.

Underlying Causes

Underlying causes are likely the most overlooked issue in the busyness of modern medicine today. Medical doctors are sometimes quick to try and solve an illness or symptom with medication. The modern medical system is not optimized to try and find the true source of the illness in the first place.

In holistic medicine, the opposite holds true. The idea is to try to cure, not just reduce symptoms. Though many holistic treatments are able to do both.

A holistic doctor will spend enough time with a patient to learn about their lives and find the root causes of an illness. The treatment is just as necessary as the connection the doctor has with the patient. That is, they work directly with patients instead of for patients to understand them fully.

Illness Imbalance

In holistic primary care, an illness or chronic condition most likely has multiple causes. Essentially, the sick patient is suffering from an imbalance in multiple areas of their life. They might have a bad diet, lack an exercise routine, or are suffering from heavy emotional pain.

For example, stress, while psychological, can cause physical symptoms. Those symptoms can result in illness, which can further increase stress. This builds a negative vicious circle.

To heal, a patient must become balanced again. This means finding all the imbalances in their lives and bringing them back into balance. The belief is that, over time, improving those other areas will slowly heal the illness in question.

A Look at Holistic Medicine vs. Modern Medicine

It’s worth mentioning that holistic medicine isn’t against modern healthcare or science. In fact, holistic doctors work with evidence-based medicine and treatments. So, while holistic treatment is also science-based, it uses different routes to heal patients.

There are a few noticeable benefits to working with holistic medicine. One benefit is that holistic doctors have so many more healing techniques to choose from. They can also view each patient in a unique light, making it easier to match the right treatment with each specific patient.

So, instead of matching symptoms to medication, holistic healing matches patients to healing techniques. The focus on personalized care, and a relationship based on trust, empower the patient instead of creating a dependence on the doctor.

Holistic doctors rely heavily on case reports, controlled studies, and proven techniques. They then use the evidence to create tailored treatments for each patient. A great example of this involves mixing a specific set of herbs for a patient, rather than providing a pre-made mixture with additional ingredients that they might not really need.

Less Aggressive and All-Encompassing

Another benefit of holistic medicine that’s often overlooked is the fact that it can be more gentle on a patient’s body. Since the approach usually involves diet changes, taking supplements, and mind-body therapies like yoga and meditation, it’s easy to see how.

While physically non-intrusive, holistic healing is still more capable of reaching out to the other areas of a patient’s life. That is, it allows the professional to connect with the patient to spot trouble in more areas than the physical. This offers an opportunity to heal on an emotional, spiritual, and social level.

Finding a Holistic Doctor

There are holistic doctors all over the country, but you’ll find some of the most renowned holistic doctors in San Antonio, TX. If you’re looking for one in your area, you might have to roam around the city or check online. Another great way to find a holistic doctor is by asking friends, family, and coworkers.

If you’re uneasy about trying out holistic medicine, there are quite a few holistic practitioners with various types of degrees. The mix of conventional and holistic training is quite refreshing. Here’s a quick look at the different types of holistic doctors you can find:

  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Acupuncturist
  • Integrative Medical Doctor
  • Chinese Herbalist
  • Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine

Before Your First Holistic Appointment

Before seeing a holistic doctor for the first time, you might want to prepare yourself properly. First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that it might be quite different from a traditional doctor’s appointment. You’ll be expected to answer quite a few questions and won’t be seen as just another number on a medical sheet.

You should also call beforehand to check if they’re accepting new patients and what their office hours are. It’s also a good idea to mention any chronic illnesses you have before your first appointment, and if they’ll need you to show any prior medical studies.

Trying Holistic Medicine

Holistic primary care is a thorough and deep form of medicine that can help people suffering from a wide variety of illnesses. It’s about caring for the whole person rather than the symptoms. With wellness as its goal, patients can expect improvements in multiple aspects of their lives.

You might consider giving holistic medicine a chance. It can help with issues at spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and social levels. The right massage, mix of herbs, and proper care can drastically reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, leading to a better lifestyle overall.

You can learn more or request an introductory call at Salveo Direct Care, based in San Antonio, TX. Our team is built around the holistic primary care approach. We’re ready to help you through the process from start to finish, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Our Doctors

We are Primary Care Doctors with a combined over 20 years of experience in Family Medicine and are additionally board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine. Our focus is on evidence based treatments in both traditional and integrative medicine practices to find what best fits your needs and health goals. Crafting your path to wellness and renewed vitality is our passion.

Drs. Monica Salas and Prisiliano Salas with Salveo Direct Care

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