What Is Holistic Medicine?

May 7th 2016

Holistic practitioners aim to achieve optimal health for their patients by using all forms of health care. Instead of relying solely on medications, holistic physicians evaluate lifestyle habits, personal challenges, spiritual well-being and emotional health to determine the best form of treatment that heals the whole person.

Basic Principles

Holistic medicine is driven by beliefs that people have internal healing powers and that patients are not defined by a disease. The collaborative approach to healing involves input from the patient while establishing a partnership with a physician who uses a variety of health care practices aimed to treat the mind, body and spirit. Practitioners of holistic medicine believe that support and unconditional love can have a positive healing effect on patients.


Health and well-being experts focus on preventative methods based on the patient's lifestyle habits. Holistic practitioners use a variety of treatment techniques. For example, holistic medicine encourages patient education that includes psychotherapy, diet, exercise, spiritual and relationship counseling. Alternative treatment methods may also include homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture. In some cases, traditional Western medications and surgical procedures may be necessary, but the goal of holistic medicine is to use natural resources before attempting traditional medications and procedures.

Holistic Providers

Many medical physicians practice holistic medicine in addition to traditional medicine. Medical professionals who specialize in holistic medicine often include doctors of osteopathy, chiropractors, homeopathic doctors and naturopathic doctors. Patients should research and investigate the beliefs and practices of physicians when opting for both holistic and traditional medical care.


Holistic medicine is a method of healing that strives to achieve optimal health by gaining balance with the mind, body and spirit. The quest for wellness and health focuses on healing the whole person. Whereas traditional medicine focuses primarily on healing the body, holistic medicine strives to promote interdependence among the mind, body and spirit for ultimate health.

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