Holistic medicine means treating the patient in whatever way will produce effective, safe results. It means combining orthodox and alternative medicine.
The word ‘holistic’ was first introduced in 1926 by the South African philosopher and statesman Jan Christian Smuts. He suggested that the whole human being is much more than (and quite different to) a collection of physical or emotional parts. Back in those dark days there were doctors parading up and down hospital wards referring to the ‘liver’ in the end bed and the ‘case of pancreatitis’ in the third bed on the left. What am I talking about? There still are.
But whatever they may claim there are virtually no ‘holistic’ hospitals around. And there are no holistic healers. If you want holistic medicine then you must become a holistic patient. The problem is that an intuitive, holistic approach goes against everything with which the bureaucratic, legalistic, constrained medical establishment feels comfortable. The medical establishment was bought by the drug industry decades ago. Modern medicine is geared to solving problems with drugs, surgery or radiotherapy and does not acknowledge the influence of stress or diet. Nor does the medical establishment appreciate the importance of preventive medicine.
The myth that drug therapy offers the only true solution is now repeated unquestioningly and without hesitation or embarrassment. Many members of the medical establishment believe that medical advances largely depend upon the pharmaceutical industry. This is not regarded as a subject for debate but as a fundamental building block; a fact of medical life.