Holistic health

From ArticleWorld

Holistic health takes all accounts of an individual’s life and health into consideration and views these facets as closely connected and balanced. These aspects include physical, mental and spiritual aspects of one’s life.

Holistic is an adjective

There are no accepted standard definitions for the terms holistic, holistic health or holistic medicine, but most usage falls into two definitions. Suzan Walter, MBA, president of the American Holistic Health Association describes the two main definitions of holistic:

  • As a whole, made up of interdependent parts: the mind/body connection, mind/body/spirit or physical/mental/emotional/spiritual aspects. When applied to illness, it is called holistic medicine.
  • As a synonym for alternative therapies. In this use, one goes holistic and turns away from conventional option. This meaning mainly relates to illnesses and is sometimes used for controversial therapies.

Holistic philosophy

Those who support holistic health believe in alternative medical practices. The most common alternative medicinal practices include acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathy and homeopathy. The practice of holistic medicine strives to integrate conventional and alternative therapies in order to best prevent and treat disease – and to promote the patient’s optimal health. According to the American Holistic Medical Association, holistic practitioners define holistic health as the unlimited and unimpeded free flow of life force energy through body, mind and spirit.

Holistic vs. conventional medicine

The most distinguishing characteristic of holistic medicine is that it is based on the fundamental belief that unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer. In conventional medicine, science and research are considered the most powerful means of healing. Supporters of alternative medicine often use the philosophies of holistic health in their claims that conventional medicine doesn’t address the patient as a whole. Meanwhile, those who support conventional medicine are quick to point out trends in conventional medicine that can be construed as holistic (wellness and whole-body health programs, as well as an increasing emphasis of the importance of nutrition, exercise and preventative care.