What does the term holistic actually mean?

SMP Healthcare

With so many references to holistic medicine and therapies and so many different types of holistic treatments available, we wanted to find our exactly what the term holistic means.

According to the Collins English Dictionary the adjective Holistic means:

based on the principles of holism”

The noun Holism is explained as:

the treatment of any subject as a whole integrated system, esp, in medicine, the consideration of the complete person, physically and psychologically, in the treatment of a disease.”

*So when we look at acupuncture as an example the confirmation from the British Acupuncture Council regarding what a holistic treatment is; they advise as follows:

“The holistic approach to healthcare could be said to take a different approach to “conventional” medicine. Most conventional medicine treatments are aimed at a specific symptom or ailment, such as a bad back or a  cold. A holistic practitioner would attempt to work on the underlying causes of these symptoms, in an attempt to stop the symptom recurring.”

What types of treatments are classed as holistic medicine?

There are a vast assortment of holistic therapies and medicines available and each have their own unique way to treat conditions and illness. Not just reserved for physical conditions, many holistic therapies are said to have a profound effect when it comes to our mental health too. We have shown below a selection of Holistic Therapies that you may have heard of:

Acupuncture • Alexander technique • Aromatherapy • Body massage • Bowen technique  •Cranio sacral therapy  • Deep tissue massage • Homeopathy  • Hypnotherapy  • Indian head massage • Kinesiology  • Naturopathy • Nutritional therapy • Reflexology • Reiki • Shiatsu • Sports massage

If you are looking for an alternative to traditional medicine or believe that a holistic therapy may benefit you when used alongside your conventional treatment then there are an array of practicing holistic therapists you can look to for guidance.

If you are under your GP or a specialist consultant than it would be advisable to speak to them about what holistic therapy you are looking to use to ensure there would be no contraindication between the two types of treatment.

The Medigest business directory has a holistic therapy section which can enable you to find a practitioner close to your home or place of work.


*information sourced from https://www.acupuncture.org.uk/