Holistic Family Medicine
Holistic medicine is the art and science that addresses the whole person and integrates conventional and complementary therapies to prevent and treat disease, but most importantly to promote optimal health. Holistic physicians work together to transform health care to integrate all aspects of well being, including physical, environmental, mental, emotional, spiritual and social health thereby contributing to the healing of ourselves and of our planet.
Principles of Holistic Medical Practice
- Unconditional love is life's most powerful healer. Holistic physicians strive to adopt an attitude of unconditional love for patients, themselves and other practitioners.
- Optimal health is much more than the absence of sickness. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest qualities of the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, environmental and social aspects of the human experience, and the awareness of being fully alive.
- Illness is viewed as a manifestation of a dysfunction of the whole person, not as an isolated event.
- Holistic physicians embrace a variety of safe, effective options in diagnosis and treatment, including education for lifestyle changes and self-care; complementary modalities; and conventional drugs and surgery.
- Searching for the underlying causes of disease is preferable to treating symptoms alone.
- Holistic physicians expend as much effort in establishing what kind of patient has a disease as they do in establishing what kind of disease a patient has.
- Prevention is preferable to treatment and is usually more cost-effective. The most cost-effective approach evokes the patient's own innate healing capabilities.
- A major determinant of healing outcomes is the quality of the relationship established between physician and patient, in which patient autonomy is encouraged.
- The ideal physician-patient relationship considers the needs, desires, awareness and insight of the patient as well as those of the physician.
- Physicians significantly influence patients by their example.
- Illness, pain and the dying process can be learning opportunities for patients and physicians.
- Holistic physicians encourage patients to evoke the healing power of love, hope, humor and enthusiasm and to release the toxic consequences of hostility, shame, greed, depression and prolonged fear, anger and grief.
Holistic medicine is based on the core belief that unconditional love is life's most powerful healer. At its essence, the practice of holistic medicine embraces a spirit of interdisciplinary and physician-patient cooperation, balances the mitigation of causes with relief of symptoms, integrates conventional and complementary therapies, and facilitates the experience of being fully alive.
www.abihm.org - American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM)