An Understanding of Holistic Medicine

John Diamond, M.D.

Until I first came to America I had never seen the northern sky. In Australia I was quite able to identify the constellations, but in America I couldn’t. I searched and searched for Orion’s belt, and in the end it was pointed out to me. After that I was able to find it easily.

Now, we must remember there is no Orion’s belt in the sky. There is only a collection of stars that appear to us, once they are pointed out, to resemble what we imagine Orion’s belt to have been. But there is no more relationship between the stars comprising the belt than there are between all the stars in the universe. The only relationship is that which we have created in our own fantasy.

The Universe Within

A medical diagnosis is like Orion’s belt. It doesn’t really exist. It is just putting together a few easily observed findings, that seem to have some special relationship. But when we do this, we ignore all the thousands of other findings that are really just as equally related and equally important in the whole universe of the patient.

Each patient is a universe, and a true understanding of him is an understanding of each star in that universe and of the relationship between each star and all the other stars that comprise his universe. Not just picking on a few of the stars because they make a convenient story. A true understanding of a patient is an understanding of his total universe.

This is holistic medicine. It is not twenty or so specialists each working on a patient’s individual stars, but one doctor who at all times works with an understanding and appreciation of the individuality of each star and, at the same time, the myriad inter-relationships of all the stars of the patient’s universe. This is true holistic medicine.

The Notion of Good Doctoring

Let’s change our analogy. A potter is throwing a pot. While it is spinning on the wheel he is constantly feeling and examining it, using all of his aesthetic, artistic and intuitive faculties as well as his logical faculties. Using thus his whole creative self, he works with and molds the clay to keep it as perfectly symmetrical as possible.

Should there be one area which starts to become asymmetrical, he proceeds to rebalance this and to re-center this area, but he never works on only that area but always on the whole pot spinning on the wheel.

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A Note on Being “Holistic”

By John Diamond, M.D.

Just what do we mean by “holistic”? More and more holistic health centers are springing up around the country, and they proudly announce that they offer professional work in many different areas – yoga, meditation, biofeedback, reflexology, nutritional counseling, patterned exercises, relaxation therapy, massage, acupressure and so on. But simply offering all these forms of therapy does not necessarily make a clinic holistic.

“Holistic” in our framework encompasses the way you treat the person. It is your attitude toward the patient, the manner in which you assess all factors influencing him – spiritual, mental and physical, as he goes through his daily life. This can be done by one person or by a team of professionals and para professionals. But when it is done by a team, the team should know what each member is doing with an individual patient. The person should not be fragmented.

We are delighted to see holistic medicine and holistic therapy on the upsurge. But do not be discouraged if your practice does not boast a large staff offering many different aspects of holistic therapy. With your attitude toward the individual, and the goal of enhancing the Life Energy and creativity within him, you might surprise yourself at just how “holistic” you can be!

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