Holistic Approach in Medicine
A holistic approach in medicine is intended to be a process of healing that takes into consideration the mind, body, and spirit of the patient. Holistic practitioners seek to incorporate not only traditional medical treatments, but also complementary and alternative therapies. These practitioners feel that by so doing, they not only treat the medical condition or disease but also contributing factors such as state of mind and spiritual beliefs. The idea is that the patient is more than their diagnosis, but instead is a unique individual.
A holistic approach resembles more of a team approach or partnership between the physician and the patient. Each has equal say in therapies chosen and bears responsibility for their participation in developing a treatment plan. However, most holistic physicians place responsibility for the patients own well-being squarely on their own shoulders.
In developing a treatment plan, the doctor and patient consider not only current health conditions but also lifestyle, personal beliefs, and preferred habits of the patient. The overriding goal behind holistic medicine is respect for the individual and their approach to their own healing.
One of the founding principles behind a holistic approach in medicine is unconditional love. It is believed that one must first love oneself unconditionally, and only then can you truly love and support the health and well-being of another. It is this loving support for which holistic medicine is best known. The loving, supporting nature of this kind of medical care is not swayed by attitude, behavior, or poor choices of the individual, but rather offers support for the growth of a person even if that sometimes requires a stern hand.
The American Holistic Medical Association exists to provide support to physicians who utilize a holistic approach in medicine. The AHMA holds both national and regional conferences to help connect physicians in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Here these physicians can share knowledge and offer each other encouragement in professional self-actualization.
However, they also invite other professionals such as nurses and clinicians who wish to help propel the medical community back to its original purpose of healing the whole person. Many members feel that the current health system no longer advocates adequate prevention and health monitoring, but rather serves a specific business model and profit margin. While holistic medicine promotes loving support, a holistic physician is merely a guide and patients are ultimately responsible for their good health.
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