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Principles of Holistic Medical Practice

September 25, 2017

Adopted by The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine 1996


  1. Optimal health is the primary goal of holistic medical practice, deriving from the conscious pursuit of the highest level of functioning and balance of the physical environment, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of human experience.  This results in a state of being fully alive, a condition of well-being surpassing the mere absence of disease.

  2. The Healing Power of Love  Holistic physicians strive to relate to patients with grace, kindness and acceptance, deriving from an attitude of unconditional love as life's most powerful healer.

  3. Wholeness  Illness is a dysfunction of the whole person- body, mind, and spirit - or the environment in which they live, rather than simply a physical disorder or a random isolated event.

  4. Prevention and treatment  Holistic practitioners promote health, prevent illness and manage disease processes.  Holistic medical treatment balances relief of symptoms with mitigation of causes.

  5. Innate Healing Power  All persons have innate powers of healing of body, mind, and spirit.  Holistic physicians evoke these powers and help patients utilize them to affect the healing process.

  6. Integration of Healing Systems  Holistic physicians embrace a variety of safe and effective options in diagnosis and treatment, including education for lifestyle changes and self-care, complimentary approaches, and conventional drugs and surgery.

  7. Relationship-centered care  The quality of the relationship between physician and patient is a major determinant of healing outcomes which encourages patient autonomy and values the needs and insights of patient and practitioner alike.

  8. Individuality  Holistic physicians expend as much effort in discerning a patient's uniqueness as they do in establishing what disease may be present.

  9. Teaching by Example  Holistic physicians continually work toward the personal incorporation of the principles of holistic health, in turn profoundly influencing patients by their own example and lifestyle choices.

  10. Learning opportunities  All life experiences including birth, illness, suffering, joy and the dying process are profound learning opportunities for both patients ad holistic physicians.

Download the Principles of Holistic Medical Practice here




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