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Healthremains to be a fundamental aspect of the society. The efficientmanagement of the health issues affecting individuals is dependent onthe approach that is given to the particular condition affecting theindividual. A holistic approach has been identified as an efficientmechanism through which the health concerns of individuals are dealtwith. A case study of Mary Laura is employed in furthering theunderstanding of the applicability of holism in the management ofillnesses. The method has been determined to be effective based onhow it seeks to address health problems of individuals. The model notonly focuses on the prevailing illness affecting the individual butanalyzes the interrelated components that interact resulting in thedevelopment of the medical condition. Holism as a model is efficientsince it addresses not only the condition affecting the patient butother factors that could have resulted in the development of thecondition. The paper highlights the components of holism in theprovision of nursing care. Further, aspects of identification ofpatient needs are addressed. The paper highlights the similaritiesand differences between alternative and complementary medicine andthe effect of nutrition and exercise on the two. Also included in thediscussion is the therapeutic effects of music and humor regardingcomplementary and alternative medicine. It sums up with a discussionon the barriers that hinder the current healthcare system intoadopting an integrative approach when it comes to management ofvarious health illnesses.

Keywords:holism, nursing care, health, illnesses


Holisticnursing adopts multidimensional practices with the sole objective toenhance healing of the entire person. The comprehensive nursing careacknowledges that holism encompasses identifying internalrelationships of all the dimensions of a person by recognizing thatthe total person is the total number of the body parts which shouldbe cared to ensure that they function in harmony (Davidson, London, &ampLadewig, 2015). Holism also involves understanding the individual asa unit in a mutual procedure within the social and all otherenvironments. For example, nurses focus on the other aspects of thepatient such as emotional needs even as they treat the body toaddress the symptoms.

Principlesof Holistic Nursing Care

Theholistic nurse is, therefore, a facilitator in the healing processes,while the individual does a lot more. The holistic nurses respect theperson`s subjective experiences and feelings about health, theirbeliefs and values (Fontaine, Hudak, &amp Gallo, 2005). Therefore,the holistic nurse and the individual are partners in the treatmentprocess. To achieve the desired goal, the holistic nurse borrows alot from knowledge and skills, research, expertise and creativity asstipulated in the nursing practice. A practicing holistic nurse isrequired to combine self-care, spirituality and self-responsibilityto achieve the desired outcomes (McEwen, 2005). Therefore, a holisticnurse does not just rely on the training acquired over the years, butalso the combination of all the factors such as religion,environment, and entire society in the facilitation of the healingprocess. Therefore, the views, beliefs and adopted practices arecrucial in the nurse`s perspective of the holistic nursing care. Forexample, the nurses listen to the opinions and beliefs of thepatients to explore all the factors that could accelerate the healingprocess.

FourPrinciples of the Holistic Caring Process

Theholistic nurse utilizes a care process in line with the laid downprocedures as dictated by the nursing profession (McEwen, 2005). Thephilosophy and education provide the rationale for the set ofbehavioral practices used in the healing process, by providing thenecessary background on which to base the healing process. The nursesapply holistic ethics to determine the direction of the healingprocess of an individual and hence determine the facilitationmethods. The holistic nurse utilizes the self-care approach in thehealing process to emphasize the significant role that a patientplays in the healing process (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015).The self-care approach also underlines the fact that the individualis the center of the healing process while all other factors in theenvironment can only act as the facilitators of the process. Theholistic communication, environmental and cultural competenciesinvolve an understanding of the strategies that the nurses shouldadopt in the treatment and healing process. The communication isachieved through the knowledge of the environment and the culturalbackgrounds of the individuals (McEwen, 2005). It is, only after allthe concerns of the process are addressed that the holistic care isadopted, whereby the holistic nurse assesses the facts at theirdisposal to address the concerns and issues of the individuals. Forexample, nurses respect the cultures of the patients regardingparticular issues as they address current problems in the therapyprocess (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015).

Differencesin patient need when developing a Holistic Plan of Care

Theholistic nursing assessment of the patient`s needs include thephysical concerns of the patients. For example, some patients areexhausted while others have memory concentration issues. The factorsshould be considered in the development of the care plan sincedifferent physical environments lead to different outcomes. Thepractical concerns are the other differences in the needs of thepatients (McEwen, 2005). Some patients have children and hence havecaring responsibilities others work and go to school. Money,housing, and related issues related to finances are other differencesthat should be addressed in the development of the holistic careplan. The family and relationship matters that include but notlimited to the partners, children, relatives and friends are concernsthat should also be considered in the generation of a holisticnursing care. The emotional requirements and position of the patientshould also be addressed, based on the fact that individual patientshave different emotional conditions. The spiritual and religiousconditions of the patient are critical in that endeavor. Thelifestyle concerns of the patients are also crucial in theformulation of the holistic nursing care (McEwen, 2005). Somepatients abuse alcohol, drugs among other substances while othersparticipate in exercises and sports. The hobbies of the patients arealso important and should be considered. Intervention measures andmanagement practices would all be affected by each of the individualneeds and differences (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015).

Similaritiesand Differences between Complementary and Alternative medicine andWestern medicine

Complementarymedicine involves the healing practices with treatment by-productsthat work in combination with the traditional medicine. The productsused in the treatment just replace the conventional drugs andmedicine used (Giger, 2014). For example, some cancer patients adoptother forms of treatments besides the chemotherapy to manage the sideeffects. The procedure such as acupuncture could, therefore, be usedas a complementary form of therapy. On the other hand, alternativemedicine is used as an alternative to other treatments (Giger, 2014).For example, cancer patients may opt to forego the chemotherapytreatment to adopt nutritional treatment. Western medicine is theconventional forms of medicine prescribed by physicians andadministered by the pharmacists and is the most common in thetreatment of most ailments. The similarities of all the forms ofmedicine are that they are aimed at alleviating the suffering of apatient (McEwen, 2005).

Roleof Nutrition and Exercise, in complementary and alternative medicine

Nutritionplays a pivotal role in the healing process. Most of the foods havenutrients such as proteins and vitamins that are necessary to provideenergy to the body and hence support other treatments that thepatient is subjected (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015). Forexample, a patient who cannot meet the dietary requirements wouldgrow weak and hence lower the gains made by the effects of themedicine in the treatment of various ailments. Balanced diets providethe necessary ingredients to support proper functioning of the body.Proteins provide immunity and hence protect the individual from anyopportunistic infections. Carbohydrates energize the body and henceprovide an important environment to function adequately. Exercisesare vital factors in the treatment process, as they relax the musclesand enhance blood circulation which is important in the healingprocess. Relaxed muscles also serve the rest of the body well in theachievement of all the other functions. Some treatments such asfractures and all the treatments related to the bones requirephysiotherapy treatments which are necessary to achieve the intendedgoals (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015).

Therapeuticeffects of Humor and Music Therapy in Complementary and AlternativeMedicine

Humorand music are crucial components of complementary and alternativemedicine. Both music and humor provide feelings of fulfillment andsuperiority and hence assist the body to relax which is important inthe healing process. Most of the research conducted in the pastreveals that a relaxed body heals faster than a tensed one (McEwen,2005). Humor and music are important in the eradication of stress andtherefore, reduce cases of depression in the patients. The patientsget their minds off their present circumstances and problems, whichis critical in the healing process. Through humor and music thepatients see the other side of life and develop a sense of optimismwhich in itself is important to enhance healing. For example, nursesuse music as they perform some routine procedures to take away theattention of the patient from the current problem or pain (Giger,2014).

Anintegrative care system involves the combination of all care systemsto accelerate the healing process (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig,2015). For example, it combines complementary and alternativemedicine, humor, diets, music and exercises to stimulate the body torespond to the treatments. One of the Main barriers to changing thehealth system is the issue of finance. Integrative health systems areexpensive as they require more resources than single approach healthsystems. The combination of more than two of the systems requiresfunding that may not be available for the majority of the people. Theissue of the professionals in the health system is also critical. Thereal practitioners in the health sector are not well equipped tohandle integrative health systems as their training is focused onmainly single dimensions (McEwen, 2005). The people also lack thenecessary information on the adoption of complementary andalternative treatments as majority rely on the health professionalsfor all the medical service. There are no appropriate policies tosupport integrative systems of care.The necessary professionalregulations have not been formulated to guide the medical field inthe adoption of the integrated care system. For example, the nursesobserve the different dimensions of the treatment informed by thefact that the healing process could be enhanced by any of themeasures adopted (McEwen, 2005).

MaryLaura is 65 years old and tested positive for diabetes at the age of22. Her body mass index (BMI) stood at 35, which was quite above thestandard figure. She had also tested positive for kidney stones. Fromthe analysis, all the prevailing conditions were enhanced by obesity,which also was responsible for high blood pressure. After severalyears of treatment and management, her BMI reduced to 23.9 whichimplied that she was healthy. Her blood pressure was restored too.She also tested negative for diabetes meaning that the management andtreatment were effective (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015). Asa result, she has resolved to embark on a holistic health care planwhich is in tandem with her health conditions. Her determination isbased on the realization that there are other factors responsible forthe health wellbeing other than the conventional methods and knowntreatments. She believes that she has the responsibility of playingthe greatest role in treatment and management of her conditions, andhence accelerates the healing process. She recognizes the role ofdiet and exercises in the management of her conditions and hastherefore joined a Zumba class that she attends three times a week.She is aware of the fact that diabetic is depressing, and thereforehas embarked on activities aimed at reducing stress. In thatendeavor, she has enlarged her social life and support by joining andparticipating in bingo games as part of the exercise (Giger, 2014).She is a member of a senior women`s club where she provides supportthrough compassion and empathy to the club members (Davidson, London,&amp Ladewig, 2015).

Sheknows the effect of sharing experiences on the health of the clubmembers and therefore endeavors to provide as much information on theconditions as possible. She is also a Catholic and therefore herspiritual needs are met adequately (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig,2015). Mary recognizes the fact that her conditions can only bemanaged through multiple interventions by ensuring that the physical,mental, spiritual and emotional needs are met.

MainBarriers to changing our Current Healthcare System to a moreIntegrative System of Care

Thefirst barrier to the change of the current healthcare system to anintegrative system of care is the regulations that have been placedby the regulatory authorities. The institutions that have beenendowed with the duty of overseeing provision of quality healthcaretend to put in place measures that discourage the adoption of newtechniques when it comes to the delivery of healthcare (Riekert,Ockene, &amp Pbert, 2013). The presence of administrativebottlenecks serves as a primary hindrance when it comes to theconcept of transformation of change. Because of the same, it becomesdifficult to change from the current healthcare system to a moreintegrative system of provision of care.

Theother significant barrier to change is the cost that is involved. Thedecision to have a change in the system could be accompanied by theneed to provide the funds to adopt the new system. Particularly,there is the aspect of training the healthcare officials into theprovision of care to the patients. It could be vital to ensure thatthe nurses and other hospital staff are trained on how they wouldprovide an integrative system of care. The decision to train thenurses and provide the needed facilities for the same could result inextra costs. Such is a significant barrier to the adoption of theintegrative system of care.

Finally,a significant barrier could be a lack of cooperation from therelevant stakeholders into the adoption of the integrative system ofcare. The success of the system of integrative care is dependent onhow much those expected to implement it are willing to do so. If therelevant stakeholders, nurses and other healthcare practitioners failto work together in the provision of the integrative care, chances ofthe program failing are high. The lack of willingness represents asignificant barrier to change on the current healthcare system.

of Case File

MaryLaura, a sixty-five-year-old female patient, was previously diagnosedwith diabetes. The patient has been working towards ensuring that sherestores her health having been determined to be obese and sufferingfrom high blood pressure. Further, she was suffering from depressionowing to the medical conditions that she was facing. To ensure shekeeps a healthy state, support groups and regular medical checkupshave been identified as a crucial component of promoting herwellbeing. She benefits from the fact that her physical, mental,spiritual and emotional health has been restored to that of anaverage person. She is working towards ensuring that her health ismaintained.

MaryLaura has taken measures that would see to it that she maintains ahealthy lifestyle. At her age, chances of developing complicationsare. Because of the same, it becomes crucial that she adheres tovarious factors that could result in her becoming ill. She has takenthe initiative of working out ways that seek to keep her in a healthystate despite the predisposing factors likely to affect her. She hasrecovered and does not show visible signs of illness owing to heractive role in ensuring she keeps a healthy balance of her life.

Thepatient has further embarked on a holistic model in a bid to makesure that she maintains a healthy state. She has taken personalresponsibility to see to it that she helps others in dealing with thesituation she was once suffering. Through the programs she attends,she has been capable of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself.

Comprehensive,Review of Needs or Problems Discovered, Rationales, and Interventionsto Address the Needs

TheMain problems in Mary`s situation are that she was diabetic at theage off 22.She also had kidney stones and also suffered high bloodpressure. Laura, therefore, had physical needs in the form of adisease which requires treatment and management. There is also theemotional need which is occasioned by the anxiety suffered as aresult of the ailment. The spiritual need is also a concern as thebody needs cannot be completed if the emotional needs are notexhaustively addressed (Giger, 2014). The emotional needs areprevalent and are equally important in the management and treatmentof the ailment. The interventions adopted are based on the fact thatthe symptoms depicted are just part of a bigger problem in the body.As much as the treatment of the symptoms is important, it is vital totake the time to address all the other aspects, as part of the wholeproblem (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015). Physical exercisesand balanced diets are necessary interventions in the acceleration ofthe healing process. The engagement with active social supportsystems ensures that the patient has avenues to share experiences andexchange information so that stress is eradicated and hencestabilizing her emotions. The spiritual aspect of the patient is alsoparamount and must be met to ensure wholeness in the treatmentprocess. (Davidson, London, &amp Ladewig, 2015).

Implementationand Evaluation of complementary and alternative modalities within theplan of care

Theimplementation of modalities within the plan of care for Mary Laurawill mainly adopt multiple interventions approach considering thatthe conditions experienced earlier are multiple in nature(Varcarolis, Carson, &amp Shoemaker, 2006). The modalities also haveto put into account the main elements of a holistic approach tonursing and health care. Considering all the factors, diet andexercises would play a significant role in the management andtreatment of her conditions. The consumption of balanced diets wouldensure that her body is supplied with all the nutritionalrequirements so that she has enough energy and the actual immunecapability to fight off any opportunistic infections. The correctcarbohydrates, proteins and vitamins amounts would ensure that therequired nutrients are supplied to the body. Exercises would ensurethat her physical requirements necessary to enhance other functionsof the body are addressed. Proper exercises increase the flow ofblood and hence relaxing the muscles, laying a solid background forthe performance of the other duties of the body. Jogging, dancing,and even social interactions all play a significant role to ensurethat Mary is continuously occupied and hence reduce the chances ofstress or depression, factors known to compound diseases. Thespiritual wellbeing of the patient is also important as it ensuresharmony in the self, hence eradicating anxiety which could triggerstress (Giger, 2014).

of Significance of Course

Thecourse has been an eye-opener in my nursing profession. The coursehas enlarged my perception by informing that nursing should adoptmultiple interventions in the treatment process, with an aim toenhance the healing process. The symptoms are just a small part ofthe bigger problem which is the body (Davidson, London, &ampLadewig, 2015). For example, nurses can combine the western medicineprovided with other methods mainly adopted through a discussion withthe patients. The exchange is important in understanding them more,to establish their other needs which may not have been part of theinitial treatment plan (Giger, 2014).

Thecourse has made me realize the crucial role of good nutrition andexercises in the treatment and the healing process. Good foodprovides the body with the necessary ingredients necessary tomaintain the body systems and hence provide the immunity needed tofight diseases and bring about the stability (American NursesAssociation, 2007). Exercises are vital in the relaxation of themuscles and therefore enhance the blood circulation which isessential for all the body processes.

Thesocial and spiritual aspects are significant in the treatment andhealing process. Good social support systems are vital components inthe healing process. The religious background of an individualprovides the required avenues for meditation, bringing about peacewith the self which is a critical element of the healing process.


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