Holistic Medicine- When Did It Begin? Is It Thriving Today?

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One of the many things to choose from today is the way you're addressing a disease. When conventional medicine doesn't do much for you, holistic medicine can solve many of your health or well-being conditions.



Even if there are various holistic approaches, the main principles are similar. Holistic practitioners consider that healing is successful only when the patient is treated as a whole, and the focus isn't exclusively on his particular condition or illness. The disease is seen as one symptom of problems and unbalances of the body, mind, and soul.  

Believe it or not, it was Socrates who noticed, for the first time (it was the 45h century B.C.) that a part cannot be healed unless the whole is also well.

Holistic health isn’t only about the absence of illness, but rather a state of balance. The connection between mind, body, soul, and environment is what holistic health perpetuates for people.

Are the roots of Holistic Health ancient?

Human medicine has traveled a long way until it got to penicillin or MRIs. Still, healers have somehow known that emotional and spiritual well-being is fundamental for one's physical health.

Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have impressive foundations. The latter is almost 5,000 years old and has always improved, becoming the sophisticated system of diagnostic that it is today. Right from the start, TCM approached the human body as a tiny universe of systems that are all connected. Physical elements and even subtle energies ("shen” or spirit, “qi” or life forces) are composing the system too.

What are the most ancient holistic therapies?

Truth be told, the number of holistic therapies today is overwhelming, and people may find it really difficult to choose one. It's also common for nowadays holistic approaches to include several methods and treatments, both conventional and holistic.


It’s the ancient medical tradition that originated in India. Ayurveda's origins are found in the text that Sushruta wrote. He is considered to be the father of surgery, and it all happens in the 6th century B.C.

The healing therapy relies on beliefs in the five elements of the universe, the three “doshas" (the biological energies), and the seven fundamental aspects of the body. Ayurvedic holistic health practitioners utilize a system made of eight treatment disciplines, guiding the patients to moderation and balance.

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine focuses on the holistic balance, and it's the oldest human creation in terms of health care. Many holistic therapies today rely on several holistic ancient therapies.

On sites like theholisticsanctuary.com, you will learn about a holistic take on healing addiction, depression, and PTSD. Even if it’s not unusual for holistic approaches to include various therapies, the Pouyan method (used within this center) relies on an entirely natural, safe, and efficient combination of ancient plant-based medicine (herbal medicine, per se) and holistic non-invasive therapies. The goal is to heal the patient not only on a physical level, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Moreover, every patient benefits of customized programs, so that the chance of success is higher. The treatment includes daily massage, yoga, hyperbaric Chamber session, regular Dead Sea Salt baths, daily Carbon Infrared Sauna session. The list of therapies also includes daily IV drips (with proprietary formula), Ibogaine treatment, and even Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Western herbalism

Ancient Greece and Rome is where Western herbalism was born. It didn’t take long until people all over in Europe started to use it for healing. Eventually, people from the North and South America took notice of it. It concentrates on the medicinal properties of herbs and plants.

Can you try both holistic health work and modern medicine?

Considered to be the father of medicine, Hippocrates (he lived in the 4th century B.C), talked a lot about the healing abilities of nature. He firmly believed in the self-healing abilities of the body. But, there was also the category of physicians that were determined to correct the disease effectively. The two approaches (support of the organization vs. the active intervention) are still fighting as we speak, to some extent.

The scientific revolution of the 19th century led to the discovery of germs for causing diseases. Then, the Western medicine started to concentrate mostly on intervention. A condition was seen as invaders that had to be destroyed through medications. Back then, the physician didn't care much about lifestyle choices, emotional health, or environmental factors. Symptoms and syndromes were the only aspects to focus on. Patients weren't encouraged to participate actively in their healing. It was only the medicine capable of "fixing" the patients. 

Sadly, it took almost a hundred years for people to realize that the approach presented significant limitations. Several scientific medical cures were doing more damage than good. It was also the category of chronic conditions that didn't respond to any experimental treatment.

At some point, people started to look for alternatives to western medicine. Once again, people would look for holistic medicine and its therapies. It was 1975 when professionals gathered together at National Conference on Holistic Health in California. Afterward, it only took a couple of years until professionals founded the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) and the Holistic Medical Association.

What do people think of holistic health nowadays?

One thing that people seem to agree on is that we struggle with a significant imbalance in our lives. More pollutants and chemicals are in the environment and food. The rates of chronic illnesses and obesity are rising every day, and the majority of people don’t exercise enough or have a poor diet (or both). Managing daily stress is tough, especially in this fast-paced society. Anxiety and chronic depression are more common than you think.

People today are concerning a lot about their health and well-being. It's the time where we need a holistic health approach more than humankind ever did. Modern people seek medical alternatives and don't stop until they find the best methods for healing. It's why the research and development in the wellness industry have been developing in the last couple of years.

Truth be told, there aren't many doctors to practice holistic health care. There's a high demand for professionals trained in holistic health schools, nevertheless. With holistic health practitioners providing healing therapies such as nutrition, therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine, homeopathic medicine, or meditation, it makes sense why people are looking for their help. 

Even if no wellness professional or holistic health practitioner cannot be an expert in all forms of health restoration, it does provide an impressive set of skills and comprehensive knowledge for helping people get healthy and well-balanced.