Jan Smuts, the first Prime Minister of South Africa, in his book Holism and Evolution first coined the term ‘holism’ in 1926.
Decades later, in the 1960s, partly as a reaction towards the increasingly reductionist direction of modern medicine, and partly because of a growing public interest in Eastern philosophies, it became adapted as a desirable approach towards medicine.
Essentially, it is a view that mind, body, spirit and the environment should all be taken into account in the health of the individual.
From ‘Psionic Medicine’ by J H Reyner. Revised by Dr Keith Souter, 2001.
Holistic medicine is based on the widely accepted view that we are more than the sum of the parts.
Holistic practitioners may be medical doctors, dental or veterinary surgeons, nurses or other health care practitioners including a range of complementary therapists. Frequently a number of disciplines or therapies will be employed and it is recognised that the patient has an important role to play in regaining balance and harmony of the vital dynamis, which may include life-style and dietary changes.