We live in a culture fascinated by the newest and greatest inventions, trends, and hot takes. Yet many of these trends we find on influencing platforms are only temporary and soon fade out of existence. We’ve seen the Whole30, Keto, and Paleo fads in the food realm. We’ve seen the “wash your face” and “eat all the kale” and “self-care days” in the mental health world. And while all these things individually are good and beneficial for our health, what is actually here to stay for more than a season?

Trends are just that- a tendency or something which is currently popular. Trends are not just for pop culture- they are a major factor in the way clinicians provide care and patients prefer to receive said care. One so-called “trendy” shift in the healthcare world is the desire of patients to have a more integrative and holistic approach to the care they receive. Integrative healthcare refers to more of a comprehensive care strategy with the goal of keeping the patient at the center of their care, and often combines many approaches to healthcare in an effort to provide the best overall care to the patient. Holistic healthcare is a similar approach to integrative medicine with a focus on providing healing through consideration of all of the body’s processes- physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional. While pop culture has recently started “hopping on the train,” holistic and integrative medicine is not new to the healthcare world. What is fascinating is it has withstood the test of time, and we are starting to see a resurgence of this mode of delivering care.

Maybe it is only a millennial thing, but in the primary care setting we are seeing more and more patients who desire not just physical wellbeing, but also spiritual and mental wellbeing. Their desire is for their providers to see them as more than just a disease process, but as a human being with underlying emotions and concerns. At the end of the day, we all just want to be cared for and listened to. The heartbeat behind this new “trendy” healthcare approach is to get to the bottom of whatever is ailing the patient, but this is not a new-found trend. This is an approach which began in the twelfth century with Hildegard of Bingen’s theory of the body, mind, emotions, and spirit all being interconnected with one another. Hildegard believed many disease processes were connected to spiritual or emotional unrest, and to achieve true healing a clinician must confront the person as a whole. You see, while holistic and integrative care might be a “trending topic” in 2020, it has been around for almost 1,000 years which indicates it is not going away any time soon.

About the Author:

Kayla Sangrey

Kayla has been an APPAA contributor since 2020. Kayla recently graduated from Vanderbilt University and specialized in Family Medicine.