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What is Whole-Person Care (WPC)?

Health & Wellness
Jun 25, 2021

What is Whole-Person Care (WPC)?

Whole-person care (WPC) is a buzzword in the natural health and wellness industry that refers to the holistic approach to health. It ensures not only the absence of disease but the overall wellbeing of a patient as well. WPC is also observed in some areas of the medical practice thanks to doctors who practice integrative medicine, which combines elements of complementary therapies with conventional treatments to improve patient care. 

WPC is important in this day and age as there has been growing evidence to support the connection between mental health issues and chronic medical conditions like heart disease. Treating the mind separately from the body or vice versa has long been found to be ineffective; if anything, it has only prolonged the suffering of many patients.

A health professional who specialises in whole-person care takes into consideration all aspects of a patient's life, including their medical condition, behavioral health condition, spiritual health, nutritional status and social determinants of health, to be able to provide the highest quality of care to every individual person.   

How Does Whole-person Care Improve the Quality of Life?

Considering all the factors that contribute to the health and treatment of a patient will enable healthcare organisations to create an effective population health management system that streamlines every patient's care plan, rather than making them go from one healthcare practitioner to another, without their healthcare providers even communicating with each other.

A traditional doctor-patient relationship focuses on treating the condition, which in turn provides only temporary solutions. The whole-person care approach will improve the quality of life for many patients with chronic conditions as it involves healthcare professionals from different areas of specialisation coordinating with each other to deliver seamless patient care.

For example, a cancer patient who visits an allied health provider, say, a dietitian, after their weekly check-up with their primary care physician does not have to do this anymore if they are receiving WPC. Their GP and dietitian can simply coordinate with each other to come up with a treatment plan that can help alleviate the side effects of cancer treatments and make the patient's condition more manageable. WPC is beneficial to people with a chronic disease who are receiving palliative care, or other types of team-based care, as it addresses their mental, physical, social and emotional needs holistically. What's more, it prevents duplicate services that shoot up patients' total healthcare spend.

Improving quality of life with whole-person care

What is Involved in Whole-person Care?

The whole-person care approach has ended the silo mentality in the healthcare industry and developed a strong collaboration between healthcare practitioners across a wide range of disciplines. Medical professionals and providers of spiritual care, Ayurveda medicine, hypnotherapy, community-based service and other forms of holistic medicine merge their knowledge and apply a multidimensional approach to ensure patients of quality health care. 

Gone are the days when the absence of disease was the only definition of excellent health. Through the application of a holistic approach to medicine in clinical practice, primary health care professionals and holistic health service providers have successfully found a wide range of approaches to health optimisation.

Although the patient's primary care provider remains to be the main point of contact with regard to the patient's health affairs and preferred treatment choices, the other people involved in the patient's care can proactively conduct a systematic review of different models of care to recommend to the patient and their family.

Naturopathy for whole-person care     Exercise & fitness for whole-person care

How is Whole-person Care Used in Preventive Care?

WPC is not exclusive to people who have been diagnosed with medical conditions. It does not necessarily have to be applied in a clinical setting. In fact, if you're fit and healthy, seeking the guidance of a health practitioner who applies an integrated approach, whether in their medical practice or in their natural treatment modality, is a great way to maintain a sound mind, body and spirit.

They can recommend a holistic approach to help you lower your risk for developing chronic conditions. Eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, taking the time to meditate and connect with your core self, and engaging in fun activities, are simple but effective ways of ensuring the absence of disease. As well as improving your physical health and preventing mental illness, maintaining these healthy habits will also keep you emotionally balanced.

Receiving whole-person care through holistic health services is a viable option for you whether you're currently dealing with a chronic illness or want to maintain your health. Take the time to check out the full listing of natural health practitioners on the Natural Therapy Pages to find a holistic care provider in your area who can guide you through the steps of WPC. Besides providing top-notch care, they will be more than happy to show you how to achieve a life that's free of disease.

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FAQs About Whole-Person Care (WPC)

What is the definition of whole-person?

Whole person refers to the different aspects of a person that contribute to their overall health and wellbeing. Natural health practitioners employ a holistic approach to addressing the whole person of their clients, which include their mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing.

How can you be a whole person in relationship to others?

Developing and maintaining a whole person will help foster healthy relationships. To achieve this, you must be comfortable in your own skin and be happy on your own. Once you have learnt to love yourself, then you're ready to handle your relationship with others with confidence and compassion.

Why do you think it is important to be spiritually healthy?

Being spiritually healthy means being connected with your genuine self and aware of your true purpose in life. What you think, say and do are in harmony with your beliefs, which makes it easy for you to make the right decisions.

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