Holistic health uses conventional, alternative and complementary medical approaches to to prevent illness and enhance health. Holistic health views each person as a whole system. This system includes physical, psychological, mental, social, spiritual, energetic and environmental factors. All of these aspects affect and are affected by each other. Holistic healing approaches include personal awareness of factors that increase or decrease stress, a deeper understanding of symptoms, learning and practicing specific skills (e.g. relaxation, meditation, self-healing imagery), and changing lifestyle patterns (e.g. diet, decreasing exposure to toxins). Prevention of illness and optimization of health are the major foci of holistic health.
- Considers the body, mind, spirit, social and physical environment in evaluating a patient’s condition
- Utilizes a variety of complementary approaches for optimizing health
- Actively involves the patient in the healing process/treatment
- Focuses on activating the body’s immune system to achieve self-healing
- Focuses on self-care
- Emphasizes long-term results by treating the cause and not the symptom
- Asserts that positive wellness is more than the absence of disease
For further information:
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines (NCCAM) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
The Holistic Health Learning Center (HHLC) at San Francisco State University offers valuable self-care resources in one location – integrating personal, social, and environmental aspects of health. This integrated focus of self, others and earth – combines knowledge from the sciences, the creative arts and the ancient wisdom traditions to encourage holistic inquiry and healthy living.