Holistic medicine (Greek, holos, meaning entire or whole) focuses on the whole person—mind-body-spirit, well-being, and wellness. It is a new health care movement or medical approach that is gaining momentum. The basic concepts are simple and clear, avoiding a piecemeal approach to health with treatment of one disease. Two or three physicians may form holistic medical groups, sometimes inviting nonphysician health care professionals to join. Some of these nonphysicians are not licensed, and standards need to be devised. Governmental agencies are impressed by low-cost results, especially with chronically ill patients. There are also groups that have spiritual health care modalities and ministrations. Nevertheless, there are commercialistic tendencies and faddism in some centers, and the literature has been criticized as being for laymen by laymen; however, the movement deserves a sympathetic hearing.
(JAMA 242:2202-2205, 1979)