Any system of medicine that aims at optimum physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well being of a person by creative use of any available methods can be termed to be a system of holistic medicine. Ayurveda is the prime example for holistic medicine.
Generally holistic medicine is defined differently as a separate system of medicine and as a combination of different systems of medicine.
Holistic medicine puts emphasis on the development of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the person. It gives guidelines on lifestyle, nutrition, social behavior, emotional stability, and highest levels of health of physique and mind.
Educating the beneficiaries deeply about the benefits and different aspects of holistic treatment is one significantly important aspect of holistic medicine.
Apart from Ayurveda, the terms like alternative medicine, complementary medicine and natural healing too are associated with holistic healthcare.
Anything that is not involved in Allopathy is classified as alternative medicine. Some techniques employed to assist Allopathy treatment is generally termed complementary medicine. Natural healing has different meaning, which usually connotes nil use of medicines.
Today there are holistic medicine associations in the USA, Canada and other western countries. They emphasize holistic medicine as an art and a science of healing that addresses the person as a whole the person is not simply body, mind or spirit, but a dynamic combination of all three.
Curative methods when needed are designed according to the requirements of the person and not according to the symptoms of the condition. Western holistic medicine identifies diseases to be causing due imbalance at physical, emotional or social level.
Balance is reinstated to reclaim health. The holistic medicine practitioner gives guidance to lifestyle changes.
In the west too, the modern concepts of holistic medicines are in no way different from the Ayurvedic principles set 6,000 years ago. Acknowledging the person and not treating a person as a piece of machine is important.
Socrates too has warned against providing treatment to isolated units.
A human being is made of different elements the elements are not just blood, bones and muscles, but also sophisticated mental system that has a lifetime of experience. Holistic medicine is not just any treatment method, but a lifestyle.
What goes in comes out. This is true on human health too. What goes in will have its effect on not only body, but also mind. The thoughts one nurture, the kind of people one mingles with etc have an effect on his/her health just as what he consume as food. Holistic health involves balancing the thoughts and food habits too.