Very often, holistic health care is defined as what it is not–Western, scientific biomedicine, also called allopathic
medicine. Any definition of holistic health care, therefore, should define allopathy as well.
Allopathic medicine has pervaded much of Western Civilization. Also referred to as "conventional" or "biomedicine," this systems seeks to treat diseases through an action whose result is the opposite action of the symptoms displayed. The word "allopathy" comes from the Greek roots allo, different, and pathos, suffering. Interestingly, the term "allopathic was first coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. Homeopathy, which follows the general philosophy of "like cures like" is today considered an "alternative" form of medicine. The economically, politically, and socially dominant form of medicine practiced in the United States today is allopathic medicine.
The use of "alternatives," however, has been on the rise in recent years. There are a variety of general terms used for health care systems which are not allopathic. These include complementary medicine, alternative medicine, and holistic health care, among others. While each of these terms echoes a similar overall health care philosophy, each also carries with it a connotation of the form of health care employed, and the relationship of that form to allopathic medicine. "Alternative" seems to suggest a difference or deviance from the allopathic norm. "Complementary" instead indicates a type of health care to work alongside existing allopathic practices. The term "holistic" differs from both of these. A holistic approach to health care, says Dr. Allan Bazzoli, focuses on the development of a "sound body, sound mind, sound spirit." For this reason, the term "holistic health care" was used to describe the alternative, complementary, and holistic practices of Knox County, Ohio.
For ease of discussion, the term "patient" is used throughout the site as a general term for an individual
seeking health care, either allopathic or holistic.
To learn more details about the practice of holistic medicine, follow the link below.
What types of techniques are used by holistic practitioners?