Holistic health care practices can be traced back to Hippocrates’ teachings in ancient Greece.
The term “holism” itself, the root of “holistic”, is defined by Webster’s dictionary as: “a theory that the universe and especially living nature is correctly seen in terms of interacting wholes that are more than the sum of mere elementary parts”.
This approach is atypical in conventional medicine, which is why we might see a family doctor for an infection, a gastroenterologist for IBS, and a dermatologist for eczema – even though the three may stem from the same root cause. In “alternative” medicine, the paradigm differs, and the aim is to work collaboratively with our clients and their other caregivers to determine the root cause of their symptoms or dis-ease, and then correct the underlying imbalance(s).
Holistic Nutrition, to me, is the concept in practice that not only a person’s nutritional habits and needs should be taken into account – but also their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social being, along with a mindfulness of their environment.
We are more than the sum of our parts. We can have the perfect diet, but a crummy attitude – we won’t reach optimal wellness. Or, we could be exceptionally fit, but feel social isolated – we won’t be optimally well in this situation either.