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What is Holistic Medicine?

By KD Morgan
Updated May 17, 2024
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Holistic medicine is both the oldest and newest form of medical practice. When a patient is having health problems, holistic practitioners consider the whole body, rather than a specific episode. They treat the patient as having an interactive body, aware of itself, and interdependent on itself, working as one whole, functioning system.

Holistic medicine views the body as an ever-changing recreation of cells. Billions of cells are dying and being replaced every second of life. Holistic medicine does not believe the same body exists from one day to the next. Even cancer cells are recreated. They are not the original diseased cells the patient had when they were first diagnosed.

Ninety-eight percent of the atoms in the human physiology are replaced every year. The skeleton is changed every three months. It takes six weeks to grow a new liver, one month to replace the skin; the stomach lining is new every five days. Even the atoms of the DNA are replaced every two months.

By experiencing the body as being a series of fluctuations, holistic medicine views it as an interactive, single unit, in continual motion. Holistic medicine practitioners address the source of the disruption, rather than the disease itself. By discovering the “mistake” in the perfect continuum, the holistic medicine practitioner can correct the disruption and the body will resume its perfect, normal functioning.

In the past, holistic practitioners were tribesmen with knowledge handed down from previous generations to cure and heal their people. They knew their tribe members and the families’ medical histories and could prescribe herbs, foods and lifestyles to help them through their ailments.

In ancient times, holistic medicine practitioners were paid a fee from the time a person was born until the time he or she died. The only time they were not paid was when the person became ill. This naturally inspired them to keep their patients healthy.

In modern times, holistic medicine continues to work on a preventative basis. Holistic practitioners and patients alike do not wait until a problem arises and then simply cure it but rather manage the whole body to avoid disease. It is important to remember that the philosophy of holistic medicine not only involves the biological body, but also includes the psychology and spirituality of the patient.

Some people who are deeply committed to holistic medicine techniques believe that in modern western medicine, it is to the doctor’s financial advantage to focus on curative medicine, rather than keeping the patient healthy. Others believe we are living in a time of great abundance and a wide variety of choices when it comes to our health. With a holistic medicine approach, we are blessed to have the scientific knowledge, techniques and pharmaceuticals available to cure, while taking personal responsibilities for our bodies and state of being.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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