Definition: Defining the Meaning of Holistic Health
Holistic health (holistic medicine) is a diverse field of alternative medicine in which the whole person is focused on, not just the malady itself. Holistic Health is actually an approach to life. The holistic concept in medical practice, which is distinct from the concept in the alternative medicine, upholds that all aspects of people's needs including psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole. With Holistic Health people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being, and everyday choices are used to take charge of one's own health.
What is Holistic Health
Holistic health is a philosophy of medical care that views physical and mental aspects of life as closely interconnected and equally important approaches to treatment. While frequently associated with alternative medicine, it is also increasingly used in mainstream medical practice as part of a broad view of patient care.
The holistic approach takes the broadest possible view of illness and disease, identifying multiple causes (both internal and external), and offering multi-dimensional "healing," as opposed to specific "cures." It is as concerned with one's propensity towards disease as it is with its transmission. These include natural diet and herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, exercise, relaxation, psycho-spiritual counseling, meditation, breathing exercises, and other self-regulatory practices. It addresses not only symptoms, but the entire person, and his or her current life predicament, including family, job, and religious life.
Holistic Health is harmony and balance within all aspects of self - body, mind, spirit and emotions.
The whole lifestyle of the person is addressed, taking into consideration diet, exercise, the mind and emotions, one's spiritual outlook, and the interaction between family, friends, co-workers, society and nature.
The goal is a wellness that encompasses the entire person, rather than just the lack of physical pain or disease. This means that not feeling sick, does not necessary mean you are well, just that you are between Well and Sick.
Holistic health is not itself a method of treatment, but is an approach to how treatment should be applied.
Holistic concepts of health and fitness view achieving and maintaining good health as requiring more than just taking care of the various singular components that make up the physical body, additionally incorporating aspects such as emotional and spiritual well-being.
Historically, Holistic health has not been widely practiced in North America and has not been legitimized as a valid process. According to Robbie Davis-Floyd in "Medical Anthropology- Modern Midwives, Issue 20" , she states that there are "links between tradition, ancestry, home remedies, the earth and the biomedical systems" .
The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) is the free and impartial information resource for wellness and healing - (www.ahha.org)
Quick Facts: Holistic Health
- One out of three drugs prescribed in Germany is an herb.
- 74 percent of the American population desires a natural approach to health care.
- 19 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer alternative medicine as part of their health care compensation packages.
- A holistic doctor may use all forms of health care, from conventional medication to alternative therapies, to treat a patient.
- The World Health Organization estimates 65 to 80% of the population use holistic naturopathic medicine as a primary form of health care.
- Traditional Chinese medicine has been chosen by the World Health Organization for worldwide propagation to meet the heath care needs of the twenty-first century.
- Holistic medicine practitioners believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected.
- 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.
- Americans make more visits to holistic health care providers (some 600 million a year) than to M.D.s and spend more money out-of-pocket to do so about $30 billion a year by recent estimates. (Newsweek, 12/2002)
Holistic Health Care Facts and Statistics - Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD - (2009-01-16)