Holistic Medical Therapies

There are many approaches to holistic medicine, which is also called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as integrative medicine. The following methods and interventions are the ones I have been studying over the course of my medical career.  They are divided into two categories: ancient approaches and more modern paradigms.

The older systems include:

According to the concept of holistic medicine, health and wholeness imply the integration of the physical, mental, and spiritual levels of being. From this perspective, humans are more than a machine that can be serviced like a computer or car. Spiritual needs, emotional concerns, social interactions and relationships cognitive functioning, and general energy level are as important as physical health in determining our overall well being. We are meant to function as a totally integrated being, and any medical system of analysis or diagnosis that effectively treats us must also be complete. As we search for ways to achieve health and prevent illness, holistic, complementary and alternative medicine and preventive medical systems offer many tools and ideas in this endeavor.

Looking back at my medical school experience at the University of Michigan, I remember hearing the word homeopathic once. I believe it was when one of my internal medicine professors talked about the small amount of replacement thyroid hormone needed for someone who had had their thyroid irradiated (and destroyed) as a treatment for Graves disease, a form of hyperthyroidism. He called this minute quantity a “homeopathic dosage.” Despite using this term, I’m virtually certain he had no idea what homeopathy really was. At the time, I wondered what he meant by this statement but quickly moved on as I was trying to absorb the voluminous amounts of information coming my way. Little did I know that I would later spend a life time studying, contemplating, absorbing, and practicing this absolutely fascinating, therapeutic system of medicine.

There are many approaches to holistic medicine, which is also called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as integrative medicine. The following methods and interventions are the ones I have been studying over the course of my medical career. They are divided into two categories: ancient approaches and more modern paradigms.