Here’s a little secret when it comes to the medical field . . . While conventional doctors can talk to you about drugs and surgery, few are equipped to talk about health and wellness.

For this reason, a growing number of people consult with holistic doctors as well.

Holistic medical doctors take all the facets of your health into account when developing a path towards wellness. Holistic medicine is, simply put, medicine that treats you as a whole person.

Holistic doctors have earned our MD’s by going through conventional medical schools. And certainly sometimes we may tap into what I call “pharmaceutical medicine” – recommending drugs or surgery. But that is only a small part of the healing practices we draw from. Because of its limited effectiveness in treating the root causes of illness, pharmaceutical medicine is rarely our first recommendation.

Instead, holistic doctors bring nutrition, lifestyle changes and emotional health into the picture as well. Sometimes we draw from other medical systems like Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic, chiropractic and homeopathic medicine.

It is a rich and powerful form of healthcare that goes well beyond the limited scope you find in conventional, pharmaceutical-oriented medicine.

Is Medicine Changing To Be More Holistic?

Currently, we’re seeing a dramatic shift in how medicine is practiced. Many doctors like me have realized the limits to conventional health care and have taken the initiative to expand their expertise. Likewise, millions of people have taken control of their health and now seek out holistic doctors, opting for care that focuses on wellness.

Some medical schools – like University of Arizona’s School of Integrative Medicine – are expanding their medical courses to meet this new understanding of health. And some health insurance companies have covered some holistic therapies like acupuncture.

However, conventional medicine, in many respects, also seems to be going in the other direction.

In 2004 a group of researchers from the North Carolina University School of Nutrition surveyed 104 medical schools to see how much they covered the topic of nutrition. In 2004, they found that only 38% of the schools taught the 25 hours recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.

Given how important nutrition is for health, 25 hours is paltry compared to what doctors really need to serve their patients well.

Unfortunately, the results of this study did not improve with time. In 2010, these same researchers surveyed 105 medical schools. And this time they found the number of schools meeting this recommendation had dropped – to only 28%. Also, these researchers found fewer medical schools surveyed in 2010 required a dedicated nutrition course as part of their graduation requirements and the average number of hours each student spent studying nutrition had dropped as well.[1]

By not learning much about nutrition, doctors are missing out on some important factors in healing. Thanks to a growing body of research we know in many cases nutrition does more for your health than medicine. Here are just a few examples . . .

- A handful of nuts a day does far more good for your heart than statins.[2]

- Fish oil can do more for depression than many antidepressants;[3]

- And digestive enzymes beat out prescription anti-inflammatories for joint pain and muscle problems.[4]

But despite this evidence, if doctors want to delve into nutrition in any meaningful way, they have to learn about it on their own time. They won’t learn it in medical school.

Other healing modalities like acupuncture, meditation and herbal medicine that have solid research behind them are also being ignored in medical schools. This is despite the fact many of these “alternative” healing approaches yield better results than conventional medicine and are usually safer with fewer side effects.

In addition, at a time when the costs of healthcare is grabbing everyone’s attention – natural health care is almost always much more affordable.

How To Expand Your Health Care Options With A Holistic Doctor

Today, thanks to the global information age and the tremendous amount of research on non-conventional healing, we have access to more healing knowledge than ever before.

There really is no excuse for doctors to ignore the resources we have at our disposal to help our patients enjoy good health. And - as the number of people using holistic doctors demonstrates - patients don’t buy that excuse either.

Good health is the result of your whole body working together in relative harmony. As a doctor my professional obligation is to help you find the best way to do this.

As I have discovered after decades of practice - and from tackling my own health challenges - this means stepping outside of the constraints of conventional medicine.

Holistic doctors play a key role in helping medicine shift to embrace more solutions and offer you better choices. We work together with conventional doctors to provide complementary interventions. And – as board-certified MDs - within our own practices we offer an integrated approach that includes both conventional and alternative medicine.

By straddling these two worlds of healing, we are bringing big changes to medicine that benefits everyone. By bringing in nutrition, acupuncture, herbal knowledge and other practices we make healthcare more comprehensive, more effective and even more affordable.


[1]Adams KM et al. Nutrition education in U.S. medical schools: latest update of a national survey. Acad Med. 2010 Sep;85(9):1537-42. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181eab71b.
[2]Newman D. Mediterranean diet vs. cholesterol pills – we have a winner. Huffington Post, October, 2013.
[3]Jade K. Fish oil more effective than some antidepressants. Examiner, July, 2011.
[4]Klein G et al. Efficacy and tolerance of an oral enzyme combination in painful osteoarthritis of the hip. A double-blind, randomised study comparing oral enzymes with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):25-30.

Author's Bio: 

About Dr. Michael E Rosenbaum, MD

Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum is a 35-year veteran and widely recognized pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, alternative healthcare and medical acupuncture. As one of America's most respected experts in natural health and healing, Dr. Rosenbaum has been a frequent lecturer to professional medical groups and has participated in numerous television and radio talk shows. He is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.

Want to learn more about what the medical world is missing? Get our FREE report, "Why Didn't My Doctor Tell Me This?" In this eye-opening report, 5 pioneering natural health experts reveal nutritional secrets that can change your life. Get your free copy here. Sun Chlorella USA offers the finest quality chlorella products for anti-aging, weight maintenance, energy, heart, brain & digestive system, as well as overall health and wellness for both people and pets. Also, for special offers, news and updates, follow us on Twitter at @sunchlorellausa or 'Like' us on Facebook at our Sun Chlorella USA Facebook page.