During the twentieth century there have been great advances in medicine in the area of science and technology. At the same time, there has been a trend back to a more natural, humanistic approach to counteract patients' feelings of alienation. Holistic medicine approaches the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of a person as they relate to health and disease. It emphasizes prevention; concern for the environment and the food we eat; patient responsibility; using illness as a creative force to teach people to change; the `physician, heal thyself' philosophy; and appropriate alternatives to orthodox medicine. Family medicine faces the challenge of integrating these humanistic concepts with science.