What is Holistic Medicine?
Holistic medicine is energy medicine. It is the medicine of the ancient people. This medicine serves as philosophy and guidelines to the ancient people who were very concerned with living in accordance with the laws of nature. The definitions and descriptions used by the ancient people are all in relationship to the continual movement and chaos of the surrounding environment. The parts of the body are only viewed in context of the whole and the whole body is only viewed in context of the surrounding environment or the macrocosm and the microcosm. Holistic medicine is a medicine of unity and not separation. Holistic medicine asks where the energetic disturbance is because all illness is energetic in origin which is overlooked by modern convention. perhaps partly because it is not measurable perhaps that is what is easiest.
When comparing ancient and modern medicine it is important to remember that ancient medicine deals primarily with energy is is about assessing, diagnosing and treating energy which is movement. Modern medicine deals with matter. It searches for the physical and tangible. If no physical, tangible or measurable pathology exist there is no so called disease. Matter always manifests from energy. Before there is matter there is energy, in which case, modern medicine deals primarily with that which is a manifestation of an energy disturbance. Disease from the modern perspective does not happen overnight it takes time. It builds up until it becomes something that can be measured by modern diagnostic conventions. Modern medicine looks at the pieces and does not relate them to the whole, as if they were all independent of each other. Modern culture is permeated with excess. When we talk about exposure to detrimental elements for example violence, chemicals, toxic substances we are referring to an extreme of these things. This desensitization of humans leads to an inability to perceive subtleties in the environment. In this respect modern medicine is very obvious. It is born from excess and that make weakens it. Ancient medicine deals in energy, it requires perception of subtle changes and although ancient, it is very sophisticated. When a culture lacks this ability to perceive their environment; they lose touch with nature. In losing touch with nature people lose respect for the chaos of nature and in turn become upset with nature, when it should really be nature that is upset with people.
The holistic physician is a huge component in helping people maintain touch with nature and its many ways. I imagine it was much different when ancient people were concerned with their relationship with nature. Today the holistic physician may take on a role, pointing out aspects of their patients’ lives which may be troubling. They must try and help patients to cultivate the virtues in their lives to overcome the characteristics which have lead to the patients’ present condition. For all of this the holistic physician does not hold a favorable role in modern culture. They must not only have the skills to diagnose and treat disease. They must also be strong in their heart and the convictions of their medicine. They must be strong, bold, and at the same time humble, never forgetting that there is nothing that they can do for their patient, that their patients body is unable to do for itself. This can be difficult when dominant paradigm believes the opposite is true.
In this culture we have given up responsibility for ourselves, we have lost touch with nature and we have become desensitized to what exists. Can we as a culture regain touch with the microcosm and the macrocosm in a world of cities, pollution, and war? As a student of holistic medicine, I know that the body can do things that I myself may be unable to conceive but left to its devices it will do what is best. As individuals, we must look at our relationship with nature and with others to help strengthen our relationship with the universe.