Holistic nursing expands upon the registered nursing field by focusing on providing patients with a full spectrum of health care by implementing nursing practice and medical applications with a focus on the mind, body, emotions and spirit of an individual in order to provide a holistic approach to healthcare and the totality of full on patient care.
In addition to providing all of the same care and treatment of a standard registered nursing position holistic nurses may also implement an alternative medicine methodology to their health care practice through the use of nature, individual beliefs and spirituality and alternative medicine practices, and will take into account the personal, religious and spiritual beliefs of their patient in order to use their nursing experience as a complementary component of an individuals personal and spiritual health.
Holistic nurses may treat an individual’s physical, emotional and psychological needs with holistic therapy and medical interventions to bring the patient back to full health while fully respecting their individual beliefs and needs.
The practice of holistic nursing requires nurses to become self-aware of their limiting opinions, motives, training and treatments, and forces them to become deeply connected with spirituality and mental health in order to improve their ability to treat and care for the “whole” patient, not just the patients physical and mental ailments or symptoms.
Holistic nursing may implement alternative medicine practices such as:
Acupuncture – Acupuncture focuses on stimulating specific parts of the body (often by puncturing the skin with needles) in order to stimulate specific acupuncture points either manually or with electrical stimulation in order to correct imbalances in the bodies energy or qi.
Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy focuses on improving ones mental and emotional state through the use of plants and essential oils by creating pleasant aromas that increase the patient’s energy and relaxation through a combination of uplifting aromas.
Chinese medicine – Chinese medicine focuses on traditional medical techniques that were developed in China over 5000 years ago. Some of these medical practices include massage therapy, diet, herbal remedies, acupuncture and traditional exercises, which are believed to be and have been proven to be effective for treating an assortment of ailments.
Heat therapy – Heat therapy focuses on reducing pain and relaxing the muscles by using a heat catalyst such as a heat pack or hot water in order to loosen tight muscles and reduces physical pain.
Hypnosis – Hypnosis focuses on putting patients into a state of heightened relaxation and focus. The purpose of hypnosis is to increase a patients focus and concentration in order to help them overcome their mental afflictions such as to quit smoking, eliminate a fear or become more productive.
Massage therapy – Massage therapy focuses on muscle relaxation by pulling, pushing, rubbing and applying deep pressure to the body’s various muscles and joints which helps improve blood flow, increases vitality and flexibility, and relaxes the muscles.
Mental health therapy – Mental health therapy focuses on a wide range of mental and psychological healthcare practices aimed at improving an individual’s mental and emotional state through therapy, mental/emotional management techniques and group oriented social activities among other mental health therapy techniques.
Patient health education – Patient health education focuses on informing and educating patients on various health care issues in order to allow them to make more educated decisions regarding activities that may affect their health. When dealing with a physical/mental ailment patient health education allows patients to make the best decisions on ways to best eliminate or deal with their particular condition.
Stress management – Stress management teaches patients how to cope with stressful events and educates patients on various stress management techniques and psychological strategies they can use in order to reduce stress and maintain good mental health.
Those who work in holistic nursing may choose to use a variety of these practices in order to provide patients with a well-rounded healthcare treatment plan aimed at not only improving the patients physical ailments, but also their emotional, psychological and spiritual states.