We see alternative medicine as different than holistic medicine in that alternative medicine is always outside the mainstream. Holistic medicine, by definition, takes an inclusive approach that includes “western medicine” and health protocols that are widely accepted by the medical community. Alternative medicine, in contrast, focuses on these treatments, practices, and lifestyle choices beyond the mainstream. It’s like a syllogism for subsets: Alternative medicine is holistic, but holistic medicine isn’t necessarily alternative.
Put another way, we have nothing against holistic medicine and mainstream healthcare. If we break a bone, hit our head, or have a sharp abdominal pain, we go to the ER or at least make an appointment with our doctor. But there’s also a long list of preventative steps and experimental treatments that can be utilized outside of acute care services. There are yet undiscovered and underutilized alternative medicines that are destined to become the mainstream.
Moreover, many chronic medical conditions resist first- and second-line treatment protocols. Many medical conditions aren’t cured only managed. And when it comes to not feeling like crap, when you’re experiencing a host of intermittent symptoms of indeterminate cause, it’s tough to know what parts of your diet, exercise, and daily habits are contributing to or mitigating your symptoms. Krohn’s. Asthma. Arthritis. Obesity. Fibromyalgia. Orthopedic pain. Nausea and vomiting. Migraines. The list goes on and on.
Let’s get back to the original question: How is alternative medicine different than holistic medicine? Alternative medicine picks up where mainstream medicine leaves off. It seeks attention, further study, and legitimacy when it’s due. Or at least that’s how the Alternative Medicine Channel sees it. Do you see it a different way? Tell us your views. Send us an email with a note about your organization or personal expertise, and we’ll share it with our audience.