Jean-Philippe Lanoix et Loren Toussaint

Holistic Must Mean Whole: Spirituality as Central in Holistic Medicine and “Holology”

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Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. It is a broad discipline containing a vast range of practices that aim at the global health of the patient. Holistic medicine more consistently takes into account spirituality (although not always) and often utilizes group therapy led by trained therapists. One problem is that the words ‘holistic’ and ‘medicine’ are not specific, adding to the general confusion on what holistic medicine is. The aim of this review is to describe, as integrative medicine (i.e. both conventional and alternative), what holistic medicine is in everyday life. In light of the current literature, as we found heterogeneous definitions and practices, we will present arguments for the need of a proper terminology, in order to create a system for fully evaluating the patient as a whole – holology.