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Holistic Medicine: What Is It and What Are Its Principals?

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By    |   Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 12:02 PM

Holistic medicine is healing that considers the whole person — mind, body, and spirit — and integrates conventional medicine and alternative therapies to promote health and prevent illness and disease.

"In practice, this means that each person is seen as a unique individual, rather than an example of a particular disease," the American Holistic Medical Association website says. "Disease is understood to be the result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and environmental imbalance. Healing, therefore, takes place naturally when these aspects of life are brought into proper balance."

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For a holistic practitioner, treating a migraine, for instance, may involve using prescription medications but also talking with the patient about stressors or activities that may bring on the headaches and looking at issues like diet and sleep patterns and how those contribute, WebMD said.

"Holistic medicine is also based on the belief that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healer and a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and well-being," WebMD explained.

AHMA describes 10 principles that guide holistic medicine practitioners. Here are a few of them, as quoted from the organization's website:

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Optimal Health is the primary goal of holistic medical practice. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest level of functioning and balance of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of human experience, resulting in a dynamic state of being fully alive. This creates a condition of well-being regardless of the presence or absence of disease.

Prevention and Treatment. Holistic health care practitioners promote health, prevent illness and help raise awareness of disease in our lives rather than merely managing symptoms. A holistic approach relieves symptoms, modifies contributing factors, and enhances the patient’s life system to optimize future well-being.

Innate Healing Power. All people have innate powers of healing in their bodies, minds and spirits. Holistic health care practitioners evoke and help patients utilize these powers to affect the healing process.

• Integration of Healing Systems. Holistic health care practitioners embrace a lifetime of learning about all safe and effective options in diagnosis and treatment. These options come from a variety of traditions, and are selected in order to best meet the unique needs of the patient. The realm of choices may include lifestyle modification and complementary approaches as well as conventional drugs and surgery.

Relationship-centered Care. The ideal practitioner-patient relationship is a partnership which encourages patient autonomy, and values the needs and insights of both parties. The quality of this relationship is an essential contributor to the healing process.

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Holistic medicine is healing that considers the whole person - mind, body, and spirit - and integrates conventional medicine and alternative therapies to promote health and prevent illness and disease.
holistic, medicine, what, is, it
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2014-02-12
Sunday, 12 Oct 2014 12:02 PM
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