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What Does Holistic Mean?

Posted Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by

holistic acupuncture scottsdale

A term that has become popular recently is holistic, yet a portion of the population doesn’t truly understand the definition of the word. We often hear about a holistic approach, holistic medicine, holistic healing; but without understanding the terminology, it is impossible to comprehend what that means. While it is true that the word can be broken down to its root, this doesn’t quite capture its full meaning. Since this is a word that is used quite often with patients and practitioners at Above & Beyond Acupuncture in Scottsdale, AZ, we wanted to take some time to provide a proper definition.

What does holistic mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines holistic as: “relating to or concerned with complete systems rather than with individual parts”.┬áThe second part of the definition reads: “as relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”. “Holistic.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 June 2014. [Link]

When the term holistic is applied to medicine, health, and healing, it describes an approach that is focused on treating the entire body as a whole. This is in direct opposition to the Western medical approach that has created an extensive list of specialists that treat certain parts of the body. Eastern medicine is based upon a purely holistic approach as it is primarily concerned with the body in its entirety.

Is acupuncture holistic?

Acupuncture, along with Chinese herbs, is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (also known as TCM). The approach and perspective that acupuncture takes is completely holistic as it treats the entire body.  This allows for the treatment and resolution of many different ailments.

When a patient comes to Above & Beyond Acupuncture, a licensed practitioner will perform a lengthy intake asking a variety of questions. This process will provide important information about what may be causing the disharmonies being experienced. Due to its holistic nature, the intake will cover many different aspects that will include physical as well as mental health. The information acquired is then used to provide a diagnosis and treatment protocol.