What is holisitic medicine?

‘Holistic Medicine’ is such a trendy word during the recent years, what does it mean?

Generally speaking, any system of therapy or medicine, as long as it is treating an organism as a whole, versus management of local symptoms, it can be considered holistic medicine, namely, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Aryuveda, Natropathy and Homeopathy.

As a Chinese, it is not difficult to grasp such a concept due to our Taoist heritage; the balance of Yin-yang and the 5-phases is much engrained in our genes, culture and enviroment. Medicine had always only been holistic. Chinese Medicine is based on the Taoist world view and the ‘twelve meridians’. Following strict rules and principles, a TCM practitioner would evaluate the dynamic of the Yin-yang and the 5-phases, and take actions for the grand scheme instead of a part of the body. In homeopathy, there are a fair bit of parallels to TCM; homeopathy is based on ‘Vitalism’, there are no doubts that the soul exists, and it is assumed that living and non-living things are fundamentally different, a living organism contains the ‘dynamis’ or the ‘vital force’, whereas a non-living being doesn’t.

Another resemblance between homeopathy and TCM is that, we do not overly indulge in the minute details of anatomy, pathology and physiology; for TCM, the main focus is the dynamic of the Yin-yang and the 5-phases, health can be restored using methods available from the TCM system; for homeopathy, most of the attention goes toward the dynamic of the soul, the mental, the emotional and the physical as a whole, every prescription is made only after considering the whole picture. Therefore it is often heard that. ‘Homeopathy does not treat diseases, it treats the person.’ The idea is to maximise the immunity versus silencing of all symtoms, it is quite a different concept from the conventional medicine in Hong Kong and the western societies.

As a rule of thumb, a strategy that is aimed at the organism as a whole versus it’s parts are called ‘ holistic medicine’, and homeopathy is one of them.

holistic health model