Holistic medicine is something new and different to many of us in western culture, but it's actually a very ancient practice.
The word medicine typically has 2 primary meanings to us moderns who speak English.
Medicine is the generic term used to describe the professional practices devoted to treating disease. It's also the generic term used to describe the substances taken, injected, or applied externally to relieve pain or discomfort associated with illness or disease.
For most of the 20th century conventional medical practice has been dominated by the allopathic approach - meaning that disease must be treated by the use of substances and procedures which produce symptoms different than those produced by the disease.
I first encountered the term allopathic when I read Physician by Richard Leviton.
According various various sites such as Wikipedia, the term allopathic medicine was originated near the beginning of the 19th century by Samuel Hahneman, who was one of the early homeopathic doctors in this country.
Holistic medicine can be practiced by either conventional or homeopathic doctors.
Currently many modern medical doctors practice holistically .
One outstanding example is Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D.
Dr. Junger is not an allopathic doctor. He may have the basic training of an allopath, but his practice as it has evolved and as described in his book, Clean is not allopathic.
Some modern medical doctors consider themselves to be scientists - and maybe all of them are scientists.
Holistic medicine recognizes the shortcomings of science and the approach of evidence-based medicine.
It also recognizes that the human being is not just a physical body, but that it includes the mind and spirit.
Functional medicine seems to be another name for the same approach.
The function of holistic medicine is not to cure or heal, but to enable the human body to heal itself - considering the most basic fundamentals of human health as correct nutrition and exercise along with mental and spiritual health.
Dr. Junger's holistic approach as presented in Clean comes in part from his training he received in India while studying Ayurveda.
He tells us that Ayurveda can be translated as the science of longevity.
Its core philosophy is that health is a state in which the body is clear of toxins, the mind is settled, emotions are happy, wastes are constantly eliminated, and organs are working efficiently. To achieve this goal, Ayurvedic doctors give their patients balancing diets and herbs as part of a treatment plan. But they also prescribe regular periods of deeper detoxification known as panchakarma, during which the patients follow a cleansing program for several weeks and have hands-on treatments to pull toxins out of tissues and quiet the busy mind.
Dr. Junger also mentions the ancient holistic practices which originated in China and with Native Americans, also designed to purify body, mind, and spirit.
Holistic medicine can actually be practiced by you and I as self health care.
We usually don't actually need medicine that comes out of a vial, bottle, or syringe - at least not most of the time.
What we need for optimum health and well-being is the knowledge about the importance of the best nutritional practices and detoxification including the necessary quieting of the mind along with regular aerobic exercise.
Holistic medicine in this light really means holistic health.
It also means alternative health with mindpower.
It's the really life-sustaining alternative to institutional health care as conventionally practiced by doctors, clinics, and hospitals which rely on medications, or drugs with side effects. Those medications themselves are highly toxic.Return to Alternative Health Care from Holistic Medicine