Healing that considers the whole person in the quest for optimal health and wellness.
What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health. This condition of holistic health is defined as the unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy through body, mind, and spirit.
Holistic medicine encompasses all safe and appropriate modalities of diagnosis and treatment. It includes analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, spiritual and lifestyle elements. Holistic medicine focuses upon patient education and participation in the healing process.
The principles of Holistic medical practice:
Holistic practitioners embrace a variety of safe, effective options in the diagnosis and treatment, including:
- Education for lifestyle changes and self-care
- Complementary alternatives
- Conventional drugs and surgery
Searching for the underlying causes of disease is preferable to treating symptoms alone.
Holistic practitioners expend as much effort in establishing what kind of patient has a disease as they do in establishing what kind of disease a patient has.
Prevention is preferable to treatment and is usually more cost-effective. The most cost-effective approach evokes the patient’s own innate healing capabilities.
Illness is viewed as a manifestation of a dysfunction of the whole person, not as an isolated event.
A major determinant of healing outcomes is the quality of the relationship established between practitioner and patient, in which patient autonomy is encouraged.
The ideal practitioner-patient relationship considers the needs, desires, awareness and insight of the patient as well as those of the practitioner.
Practitioners significantly influence patients by their example.
Holistic practitioners encourage patients to evoke the healing power of love, hope, humor and enthusiasm, and to release the toxic consequences of hostility, shame, greed, depression, and prolonged fear, anger, and grief.
Optimal health is much more than the absence of sickness. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest qualities of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of the human experience.
The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) describes it this way:
“Rather than focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.”