The holistic hodgepodge: a critical analysis of holistic medicine and health in America today

J Fam Pract. 1984 Dec;19(6):773-81.


Contrary to a rather common assumption, no single "holistic health movement" exists, and many of the theories and therapies now called holistic are not new to American medicine. The holistic movement actually represents four different approaches to medicine and health, each with its own theoretical perspective, historical background, and set of therapeutic options. The term holistic confuses the differences among these approaches, fails to capture their merits and defects, and as an all-purpose term is confusing rather than useful.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Attitude to Health
  • Health Promotion
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Quackery
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • United States