Does Holistic mean Natural?

Does the word Holistic mean Natural? The answer is no.

Natural refers to something existing in or caused by nature, not man-made or artificial.

Often times I see people using the word holistic when they are referring to something that is a natural remedy or a natural product. For example, a friend recently told me she just discovered a new skin care product with all “holistic ingredients.” What she meant is that the ingredients in the product are all natural – not containing chemicals or synthetic ingredients.

So, what does Holistic mean?

Philosophically, the word Holistic (or Holism) means whole – all of the parts of something are intimately interconnected to create a whole. Holistic encompasses the whole of a thing or a being, not just it’s different parts. It refers to a complete system, the sum of its parts.

In health care, Holistic Medicine is the treatment of the whole person – taking into account all physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social aspects of one’s being. Holistic Medicine looks at the “big picture,” not just the physical symptoms of a disease.

The practice of Holistic Medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease. Holistic Medicine is a collaborative, multidisciplinary and integrative approach to health and wellness with the goal of treating the whole person, not just the symptoms of a dis-ease.

Therefore, Holistic Living honors the inter-connectedness of self, others, nature and spirituality.

Holism represented in a mandala

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