holistic medicine, system of health care based on a concept of the
wholeperson as one whose body, mind, spirit, and emotions are in balance with the environment. Stressing personal responsibility for health, a holistic approach may include conventional medicine and various nontraditional methods of diagnosis and therapy, e.g., acupuncture , biofeedback , faith healing, folk medicine, megavitamin therapy, meditation, and yoga . Patients are encouraged to establish self-regulated regimes to control such illness-related factors as poor diet, smoking, alcohol intake, and stress. Surgery and prescription drugs are generally avoided. See also alternative medicine .
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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