Hello. I began this blog so that I could share a bit of myself, my thoughts, stories about veterinary medicine and my experiences. Hope you find it interesting, and if not, tell me what would be worth reading!
Holistic Medicine definition: An approach to medical care that emphasizes the study of all aspects of a person's health, including psychological, social, and economic influences on health status (The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary 2002).
Beginning with my freshman year in veterinary school I sought out alternative medical therapies. Joining the Holistic Veterinary Medicine club exposed me to treatments utilizing food therapy, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture and more. However, the intense western medicine curriculum can force one to take a hiatus from these alternative therapies, but now I am back. In Florida I lived 25 miles from a Chinese Veterinary medicine school called “The Chi Institute” and thus began my training in acupuncture and herbal therapy. Really, for me it began a new way to look at the world.
Holistic medicine defined indicates nothing about what methods are used to treat, just that the approach addresses the ENTIRE person, or pet in my case. In my office you may find it strange to be asked: “what is the emotional state of your pet?” or “does your pet seek cool spots or sunny spots?” But these answers help me treat an entire pet and not just the western diagnostic tests. I want to know who else is in the household and if your pet is scared of loud noises. Do they sleep through the night? Knowing what food provides their nourishment is also an essential piece of information. As a friend of ours once said about their newborn baby as he grew “It’s amazing. He is just milk and air….milk and air.” How true that is! Aside from love, we only exist because of our food and the air we breathe.
This kind of unconventional, in-depth assessment helps determine what the treatment plan will be. A good example is that of a dog with skin allergies. This dog may be treated with antibiotics and steroids and shampoos, but he may also need healthier food, more attention at home and vigorous daily exercise. Sometimes I pick topical medications instead of oral to limit what drugs go into the system. Often I will suggest an herbal formula. I have discovered recently that the best treatment plan is one that an owner can accomplish. Cats often hinder my treatment plan. Despite my slyness around felines, if a cat does not at least passively approve of what I want to do, I’m not doing it. Most of you cat owners know what I mean. Sometimes they will allow acupuncture,
So for me I hope to achieve more cures and more happy pets by looking beyond what can be measured or tested for. And when there is not a drug or western technique that is acceptable treatment, then I have other tools in my bag.
Julie DeMarco, DVM, CVA
Julie DeMarco, DVM, CVA