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Holistic Health Gaining Popularity

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Holistic health, alternative medicine, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) — what do they all mean? They seem to be new buzz phrases in the health community but many people have skepticism or misconceptions about the topic.

Well, there’s a big difference between the regular, American biomedical healthcare model we’re used to, and the holistic health model.

Ever feel like you wait forever to see a doctor — only to be seen for a few minutes, not listened to, and just given some drug to mask your symptoms? Americans are far too used to this, and many feel that it’s time for a change!

Unlike the biomedical model we’re used to, which simply focuses on the disease to treat the individual, holistic health focuses on the unique individual to treat the disease.

The biomedical model generally comes up with one set of solutions to cure or mask the symptoms of a disease, rather than work with the individual to find to roots of the problems and explore possible solutions and lifestyle changes to prevent the problem from reoccurring down the line.

There are so many factors that can influence our health including ecological, social, mental, physical, spiritual, internal and external factors.

Instead of simply focusing on the disease, holistic care providers look at the big picture, taking all aspects of health into account, as well as past and present lifestyle choices.

"Whole"-istic health focuses on the whole individual as a unique human being, instead of defining her by her disease.

Our current health care system could use a bit of a make-over, wouldn’t you say? Today in America, more than ever we are using a more integrated health care system.

A recent study from the American Hospital Association found that 42 percent of hospitals are now offering at least one complementary or alternative medical treatment.

Although each hospital is different in their alternative treatment offerings, we’re finally moving to a more integrated health care system.

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EmpowHER Guest

I am one who prefers "whole person" to "holistic" - the accent is slightly different. If you are interest in the politics and trends surrounding and empowering the holistic health movement - known in some places as "integrative medicine" - you might be interested in my recent piece on Top 10 for Integrative Medicine Policy and Action in 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-weeks/top-10-for-integrative-me_b_1157148.html A lot going on!

December 30, 2011 - 10:07am
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