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WHAT IS HOLISTIC PET CARE?

Holistic Health is the hype among pet owners here in Singapore. When a your pet is ill and you do your research on Holistic Vet Singapore, an entire list of veterinary clinics will be listed. Who exactly practices holistic pet care here in Singapore? Well, some of them do part of “holistic care” but most are conventional veterinarians.

Let’s discuss what exactly is holistic health or holistic pet care. Holistic health is all about considering your dog’s emotional as well as his physical needs, in terms of his home, his diet and his routine health care.

‘The whole is more than the sum of its parts’ said the Greek philosopher Aristotle, neatly describing the general principle of holism. Describing the idea that all properties of a given system, in this case medicine, cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole is vital in determining how the parts behave. Therefore in holistic veterinary medicine we consider the whole of each patient, not just the symptom or condition he has presented with. This has some similarity on how TCMV works as well.

THE MIND AND THE BODY OF YOUR PET

The interrelationship between mind and body has been accepted for centuries in traditional forms of medicine all over the world. In modern veterinary practice it is most easily compared to a branch of medicine called psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology (PNEI). This investigates the links between an animal’s mind (psycho), its nervous and hormonal systems, (neuro-endocrine), and its immune system.

When visiting your preferred Holistic Vet, there are some things you should be aware of, this will help you determine if your veterinarian is a truly holistic practitioner.

Most veterinarian who truly practices holistic treatment will have the following traits.

  1. In depth consultation – Usually taking an hour or more. This is crucial for the veterinarian to understand the dog & family’s background, past and present medical history, your pet’s current diet and daily routine, all must be explored and discussed in depth to allow the veterinarian to understand the underlying problem. If you veterinarian is rushing your consultation through, unlikely your veterinarian is a true holistic practitioner.
  2. A Holistic Practitioner will also ask about your dog’s personality and any individualizing characteristics of his presenting complaint.
  3. The details of any diagnostic tests that have been performed may also be of assistance. Finally, as well as observing him carefully throughout the consultation, they will also perform a complete physical examination of your dog

The strong link between physical and emotional health is understood in holistic medicine, we wrote about this in our complete health care approach for animals. It is precisely by individualizing and considering the patient as more than just a sum of its parts that is the key to holistic treatments such as homeopathy and acupuncture. Therefore, holistic medicine can be described as treatment of the patient rather than the disease. A holistic approach to healing recognizes that the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical elements of each individual and owner comprise a totality, and aims to treat the whole patient in this context. It concentrates on the cause of the illness as well as the symptoms.

In our next blog, we will be discussing about the importance of a diet.

Stress is thought to affect immune function through emotional and/or behavioral manifestations such as anxiety, fear, tension, anger and sadness and physiological changes such as heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating. Researchers have suggested that these changes are beneficial if they are of limited duration, but when stress is chronic, the system is unable to maintain equilibrium or homeostasis.

In one of the earlier PNI studies, which was published in 1960, subjects were led to believe that they had accidentally caused serious injury to a companion through misuse of explosives. Since then decades of research resulted in two large meta-analyses, which showed consistent immune dysregulation in healthy people who are experiencing stress.

In the first meta-analysis by Herbert and Cohen in 1993, they examined 38 studies of stressful events and immune function in healthy adults. They included studies of acute laboratory stressors (e.g. a speech task), short-term naturalistic stressors (e.g. medical examinations), and long-term naturalistic stressors (e.g. divorce, bereavement, caregiving, unemployment). They found consistent stress-related increases in numbers of total white blood cells, as well as decreases in the numbers of helper T cells, suppressor T cells, and cytotoxic T cells, B cells, and Natural killer cells (NK). They also reported stress-related decreases in NK and T cell function, and T cell proliferative responses to phytohaemagglutinin [PHA] and concanavalin A [Con A]. These effects were consistent for short-term and long-term naturalistic stressors, but not laboratory stressors.

In the second meta-analysis by Zorrilla et al. in 2001, they replicated Herbert and Cohen’s meta-analysis. Using the same study selection procedures, they analyzed 75 studies of stressors and human immunity. Naturalistic stressors were associated with increases in number of circulating neutrophils, decreases in number and percentages of total T cells and helper T cells, and decreases in percentages of Natural killer cell (NK) cells and cytotoxic T cell lymphocytes. They also replicated Herbert and Cohen’s finding of stress-related decreases in NKCC and T cell mitogen proliferation to Phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and Concanavalin A (Con A).

More recently, there has been increasing interest in the links between interpersonal stressors and immune function. For example, marital conflict, loneliness, caring for a person with a chronic medical condition, and other forms on interpersonal stress dysregulate immune function.

YOUR WELL-BEING and mental state will affect your dog. This is why when we are helping clients managing chronic diseases and cancer of their pets, we tend to work on both guardian and pet simultaneously.

Founders of Ra Healing Centre

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