Holistic Approach In Health Care

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Development of holistic approaches in health care
While Capra looked at the implication and limitations of the new physics and mechanistic view in areas such as economics and ecology, he particularly focused in his talk on health care. In biology, the living organism has been seen as a living machine, comprising various parts (e.g. legs, arms), which is a systematic approach in order to categorise and so make sense of the body, thus ‘’in science man is a machine, and if not then he is nothing at all’’ (Needham, 1928). This reductionist view of the body has greatly influenced Western medicine up to the present day, consequently doctors look at symptoms of the individual parts, neglecting other body parts and mental health, and so regard health
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To begin with, what do we mean by ‘holistic approach’? According to Capra it maintains or restores a dynamic balance between the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects (Anderson et al, 2009). Some researchers therefore suggested that the word ‘holistic’ should be spelt ‘wholistic’, thus encompassing all (Strandberg et al., 2007). Some of the Eastern healing modalities (e.g. Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine (TMC), meditation and qigong) are today classified as holistic, and have their origins as far back as 2000–5000 years. They used to be and still are regarded as conventional medical practices of their time and cultures (Garodia et al., 2007; Cointreau, 2013). Holistic medicine as we know it today dates back as far as Hippocrates (Ventegodt et al., 2007), who believed in the healing power of nature, as well as the self-healing process, a belief which was predominant until the 19th century (Said, 1982; Chishti et al. 1991). It was Arabs scholars who brought this holistic approach to the Graeco-Roman world, which…show more content…
Burton et al. (2016) illustrated in their study that MBI (mindfulness-based intervention) significantly reduced stress amongst professional staff. Raab et al. (2015) showed similar findings in a study which applied an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course for health professionals. While holistic healthcare is available to people, the fact is that most of the complementary and alternative healing modalities in the West coexist parallel to mainstream medicine, and are not yet fully integrated in healthcare systems. Often patients are required to pay extra health care insurance to have access to holistic medical services, which is the case in Switzerland (OECD, 2017) and the USA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Furthermore the question remains how health care policies define ‘holistic medicine’ and what belongs under this umbrella definition. Regulatory agencies in these countries tried to ban herbal medicine on the grounds of safety issues and lack of clinical evidence (Rao, 2015). While ethics and safety is vital, it also shows that Western medicine is predominantly profit driven (Capra, 1975; MacDonald, 2001). Nonetheless,

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