Doctrine of prevention and treatment that emphasizes looking at the whole person—body, mind, emotions, and environment—rather than a single function or organ. It promotes use of a wide range of health practices and therapies, including acupuncture, homeopathy, and nutrition, stressing “self-care” with traditional commonsense essentials. In the extreme, it may accord equal validity to a wide range of health-care approaches, some incompatible and not all scientific. It does not ignore mainstream Western medical practices but does not see them as the only effective therapies. Seealso alternative medicine.
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