Holistic Approach in Medicine

Holistic Approach in Medicine

How can a holistic approach in medicine be the difference you have been waiting for? Holistic medicine means that your doctor sees health as more than just the absence of disease. In order to live a full and purpose-filled life, rich with experiences of meaning and connection to others, you know that your goal is to be much more than “not sick.” In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has defined health since 1948 this way:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

With that historical context, a holistic medicine approach is the only approach that makes sense for people who want to have a doctor who looks at the whole person’s health: mind, body, spirit, environment, relationships, and spirituality/meaning in life.

Practically speaking, you should see a difference in each medical encounter with a doctor who takes a holistic approach. The medical history may include such things as diet and nutrition, lifestyle and stress reduction, your sense of meaning and purpose in life, satisfaction with career and vocation, relationships, and use of “alternative medicine” such as herbs, hypnosis, dietary supplements, yoga or Qigong (chee-gung). So the menu of options in the discussion about your health is expanded greatly to include natural holistic medicine, beyond the typical “lab test and prescription medicine” you have been accustomed to. But the doctor with a holistic approach in medicine is also prepared to order lab tests, X-rays, and prescriptions when needed. He or she is after all a holistic doctor, not a holistic health food store clerk. You expect a professional who can address all of your needs. Expect nothing less.

to your health,


Robert Pendergrast, MD

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