Holistic Medicine

Holistic Medicine Fort Myers

What is Holistic Medicine?

The Canadian Holistic Medical Association defines Holistic Medicine as follows:

“Holistic medicine is a system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health.

It emphasizes the need to look at the whole person, including analysis of physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values. It encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment including drugs and surgery if no safe alternative exists. Holistic medicine focuses on education and responsibility for personal efforts to achieve balance and well-being.”

An Approach to Life

Holistic Health is actually an approach to life. Instead of focusing on a particular illness or specific part of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he or she interacts with his or her environment. It emphasizes the connection of mind, body, and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible.

The History of Holistic Medicine

Ancient healing traditions, as far back as 5,000 years ago in India and China, stressed living a healthy way of life in harmony with nature. Socrates (4th century BC) warned against treating only one part of the body “for the part can never be well unless the whole is well.” Although the term holism was introduced by Jan Christiaan Smuts in 1926 as a way of viewing living things as “entities greater than and different from the sum of their parts,” it wasn’t until the 1970s that holistic became a common adjective in our modern vocabulary.

Holistic concepts fell temporarily out of favor in Western societies during the 20th century. Scientific medical advances had created a dramatic shift in the concept of health. Germs were identified as outside sources causing disease. Gaining health became a process of killing microscopic invaders with synthesized drugs. People believed that they could get away with unhealthy lifestyle choices, and modern medicine would “fix” them as problems developed.

However, for some conditions medical cures have proven more harmful than the disease. In addition, many chronic conditions do not respond to scientific medical treatments. In looking for other options, people are turning back to the holistic approach to health and healing. The Holistic Health lifestyle is regaining popularity each year, as the holistic principles offer practical options to meet the growing desire for enjoying a high level of vitality and well-being.

An Ongoing Process

Holistic Health is an ongoing process. As a lifestyle, it includes a personal commitment to be moving toward the right end of the wellness continuum. No matter what their current status of health is, people can improve their level of well-being. Even when there are temporary setbacks, movement is always headed toward wellness.