Holistic Therapy

What does ‘holistic therapy’ mean? Is it possible to give a single interpretation of this term? These words elude attempts to strictly define them in the same way as the words ‘beauty’ and ‘love’ go beyond dictionary explanations. Nevertheless, it is quite possible to have a sensible conversation about holistic approach to health.

Historically, the word ‘holistic’ refers to the concept of Holism, which is defined in Wikipedia as “Holism (from Greek ὅλος holos 'all, whole, entire') is the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.” We all know from our experiences that our existence and wellbeing transcend attempts to be represented as a collection of simple parts – the whole always exceeds the sum of the parts.

Below are some quotes from professionals in the field of Holistic Therapy:

Holism is more about relatedness rather than separation, taking a broader view rather than reducing individuals to disease labels. A holistic approach recognizes that our relationships, our culture, our immediate and global environment all profoundly affect our health and well-being.”
Prof David Peters, Editor of the Journal of Holistic Healthcare

“It’s time to replace over-reliance on pharmaceutical ‘magic bullets’ with diverse approaches for creating health. We need to support well-being, self-care in chronic disease and the well-being of health-workers. Above all we have to embrace effective and sustainable solutions for the millions who need more than biomedicine alone can offer.”
Simon Mills, British Holistic Medical Association

‘Holistic’ is a good and useful word. For a start it does not mean a particular religion, faith or belief. What it means is a general approach — an approach that is open-hearted, open-minded, recognizes the connections between all aspects of life and respects the essence of all the world’s various spiritual traditions. It is also a word that recognizes the links between spirituality, health and wellbeing; and supports our care and love for the natural world.”
William Bloom, Author and educator