WebMD describes the holistic perspective in medicine as an alternative approach to healing that takes into account the person as a whole as opposed to just one specific ailment. Practitioners of holistic medicine believe that a person's body, emotions, mind and spirit are all dependent upon one another and that the achievement of optimal health results from the achievement of the correct balance in life.
WebMD states that in the holistic perspective, an imbalance in one part of a person affects the other parts of the person, causing a negative overall impact on the person's quality of life. Holistic doctors are not solely practitioners of alternative therapies. They may also employ conventional medication to address one of the imbalances that they identify. A holistic doctor may prescribe a drug to relieve the symptoms of a headache that a patient suffers from, but holistic doctors also tend to suggest changes in lifestyle and habits to prevent the headaches from becoming a chronic condition.
According to WebMD, holistic doctors emphasize the humanity and personhood of the patient instead of the patient's disease or illness. Practitioners also focus on addressing medical conditions at the fundamental level of the cause of the ailment rather than on the symptoms alone.