Health knowledge made personal

Complementary & Alternative Medicine Community

Overview Blog Posts Discussions People
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Holism and Holistic Health

Posted Oct 03 2008 11:32am
By Dr. Christine Gonzalez (PharmD, HHC)

Welcome to blog, where we have created a place to discuss all things holistic…so let’s get started! The word “holistic” can sometimes conjure up esoteric connotations yet is increasingly drawing more people in to learn more. When I looked up the word in Wikipedia‚, I was redirected to “holism”:

Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone.”

Hmm, makes sense but how does this apply to our health? When I looked up “holistic health”, I seemed to be getting closer:

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.”

Yes, the mind-body connection! But lastly I wanted to see what the respectable folks at Merriam Webster dictionary had to say. No entry for “holistic health” but got something for “holistic”:

1. “of or relating to holism (why do dictionaries always do that?)
2. relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.”

As I sat with this for a while, a question came to me. When did these so-called parts of health get separated? More importantly, why has it taken us so long to realize they need to be brought back together? I attribute a lot to the unfortunate realization that our current healthcare system is indeed failing us. It is a fact that the U.S. spends a large percentage of GDP (about 16% the last time I checked) on healthcare, yet ranked 37th in terms of performance. This was back in 2000 according to the World Health Organization. Recently, we scored 65 out of 100 on the 2008 National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance. This is worse than we did in 2006–yikes!

I believe we are at a paradigm shift in healthcare. The 'symptom management' or 'magic bullet' approach is clearly missing the target. This has caused many people to think, “could there be something to this holistic health thing after all?” The human body has an amazing healing potential when given half a chance. When you utilize a holistic health philosophy, you ignite your innate healing power through the integration of your mind, body, and spirit. Simply put, you become whole again! Are you open to the experience?

I look forward to hearing from you via this blog or my email

Visit for more information on holistic medicine, natural remedies, or to find a practitioner or school in your area. And don't forget to check out our podcast, Holistic Health & Wellness.
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches