chapter  1
Holistic view of health and illness
ByMabel Aghadiuno
Pages 26

This chapter examines the limitations of adopting solely a biomechanical approach towards patients. It examines what we mean by 'holistic health' and it questions why patients often feel unheeded and powerless when they seek medical attention. The chapter argues that to be advocates of holistic practice, we have to consider the dimensions of health–including the spiritual. This approach reflects World Health Organizations definition of health as 'a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'. A holistic perspective of health and illness takes in the physical, emotional, cultural, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the person. The British Holistic Medical Association believes the core values of compassion, respect, competence and self-care should underpin holistic practice and that they should be incorporated into the daily lives of practitioners and patients. Holistic practice is imperative but not just in ecology and science. The social dimensions of health and illness have been known since Hippocrates.