What is the difference between holistic and modern medicine?

The word holistic originates from the Greek word halos, which mean whole and is used to refer to treatment solutions that help to treat the body, mind, and spirit. Holistic treatment differs from the modern medical practices regarding diagnostics techniques, philosophy and treatment options. In this article, we discuss the difference between holistic and modern medicine to help you decide the best option for your healthy.

Differences in Cause and effects:

Holistic medical approaches view illness or injury in terms of environmental, social and personal approach. Instead of considering which genes are responsible, holistic approach attempt to find out how individual contributes to their health through lifestyles choices and believes. Although this kind of responsibility can be a burden, this approach of health care considers that individuals have the power to cope, adapt, rehabilitate and recover.

On the other hand, modern medical practices believe that bad genes and germs cause most diseases. They do give a lot of consideration and focus on the contribution of the individual on their health care. Individual medical history in the modern western medical practice is paramount that change in lifestyle, philosophy or situation.

Diagnosis and treatment differences:

Diagnosis of a medical condition in holistic medicines may vary, but in most cases, the diagnosis includes the contribution of the patient to her condition. Treatment recommendation may include dietary and direct treatment with acupuncture, messages, and herbs. Although the treatment can be short term, it can be repeated many time and Western modalities such as counseling can be incorporated. Holistic treatments involve reevaluation and lifestyle improvements. In some cases, an individual may be advised to go for evaluation test from their primary physician before returning to holistic care.

On the other hand, modern western medical diagnoses involve matching an array of diagnosed symptoms with established paradigm of diseases and dysfunctions. It involves the use of diagnostic tools to help determine the cause as well as the progression of a disease. Modern medical providers are a specialist who specializes on a group of symptoms treatments. The specialist prescribes standardized medications that can even be administered by the patient independently without necessary visiting back the specialist. In most cases, patients are not encouraged to change their lifestyles to support the medication.

Medicine and insurance:

One of the differences between modern western medicines and holistic medicine is the inclusion of the insurance system in the modern medication. In most cases, holistic care is not covered by insurance arrangements. Modern medical standard care includes insurance arrangements that may cover modern treatment to a certain degree depending on the insurance cover arrangements.


The difference between holistic and modern medicine continues to broaden as the interested in the holistic medicines to grow. Although most people seems to be interested in the modern western medications, the number of people going for holistic treatments are ever increasing as the number holistic caregivers continue to blur. The standard of care provided by the caregivers may vary depending on the caregiver. However, some consistency on standards in some areas has been witnessed due to the government regulation. On the other hand, modern medications are fully regulated and consistent in most areas, although, the consistency can be constrained by a complication in health insurance industry.



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