This section is from the book "Holistic Medicine", by Shriniwas J. Kashalikar.
At first let us see why medicine [The science and art of healing and health promotion] is divided at present.
It is no te worthy in this connection that physics, chemistry, electronics and such other disciplines are not divided in different systems or regional identities Thus, one doesnt come across Chinese chemistry, American Physics and Indian Electronics! This is because these are sciences with definite scopes for verification of the concepts in a fairly constant settings and/ or environment.
In contrast, medicine is a conceptual conglomeration of concepts of physical science, philosophy, ethics, arts, techniques and even culture, evolution and other biological sciences. So the education and practice of medicine during different periods of history, in different parts of the world have different cultural and regional identities In addition to the development of these differences, the observations of different workers can also vary This is because the real laboratories in which the studies are conducted are organisms belonging to different species and organisms with different constitutions [even if they belong to the same specie] One finds variations even in the same individual from time to time as a result of factors such age, pregnancy, environment and other sbessors.
Medicine has been vulnerable to get divided because of one more factor This factor is object of study, experimentation and observation The object of study in medicine is not inanimate It is not merely physical or chemical in nature The objects are life in general and human being in particular. The instincts, emotions,intelligence and level of consciousness are not accessible to laboratory equipments and to the people who study them This is because die observer is also a human being with limitations. Further, the observers instincts, emotions, intelligence and level of consciousness also vary and are largely undeterminable. How these factors can interfere with observations can not be predicted Medicine has therefore a lot of gray areas and uncertainties in contrast to physical sciences. Hence it is vulnerable to subjective factors such as prejudices, beliefs, fears, leading to divisions and discord among die members of the various divisions.
Besides all these, means of treatments (which are object of study) such as herbal medicines, yogic practices and homeopathic therapy, magneto-therapy, hypnotism etc. also vary from place to place and time to time.
The proposed concept of holistic medicine is as follows.
1. Holistic medicine with respect to its perspective is a realization that all existence, all concepts including those of all medical systems are components of a continuum This is in consonance with the word holistic which is derived from the Greek word Holos meaning whole The dictionary meanings of 'holistic" are, a] Taking in die whole of something on a broader canvas and b] Based on the theory that a whole concept of organism is a more fruitful field of study than its parts or symptoms.
2. Holistic medicine is trans-religious (NOT NON RELIGIOUS) thus neither holy nor unholy, hut beyond religion It is trans-national (NOT UNNATIONAL OR ANTTNATIONAL), but beyond the boundaries of a nation. It is trans-cultural (NOT UNCULTURED or ANTICULTURE), i.e beyond the cultural dogmas or beliefs. It is trans-intellectual (NOT UNTELLECTUAL or ANTTINTELLIGENCE], but beyond the intellectual framework. It is trans-ideological (NOT DEVOID OF IDEOLOGY or ANTIIDEOLOGY), but beyond ideological boundaries. It is trans-scientific (NOT UNSCIENTIFIC OR AGAINST SCIENCE),butbeyond the restrictive paradigms of science.
3. Holistic medicine transcends every kind of pettiness including petty identity and concepts bom therein. (This in Indian Philosophy is referred to as SELF REALIZATION. I will consider and discuss this at a greater length in subsequent articles).
4. Holistic medicine is a vision, study and practice of a continuum that unifies arbitrary division/systems in medicine.
5. As regards its approach to various systems of medical field, holistic medicine does not blindly accept any theories, yardsticks (Criteria of evaluation), methodology, techniques or therapeutics of any system of medical field. It prefers to accept them provisionally and with due to consideration to the limitation and scope of application.
Thus with respect to theories, holistic approach is not averse to study possibilities and / or phenomena which do not fit in scientific and / or conceptual framework of any discipline of medical field or science But it never declares or claims possibilities as facts or universal generalizations either Many dogmatists in so called scientific different disguises and the others in religious do this.
6. Holistic medicine does not shackle itself with a restricted concept of life viz. from birth to death of the body However, holistic approach neither simply accepts the so called randomness of mutation nor so called natural selection in evolution. At the same time it does not insist on the doctrine of rebirth. It attempts to comprehend die sub tlercausalities underlying the organizationof genotypes, evolution and such events Holistic medicine deepens our understanding of multi-charactered, mulhfaceted, multidimensional and multi-planar complex nature of life and the universe The holistic approach clearly conceives that homeopathy, yoga, ayurveda, Chinese medicine and many others are approaches springing from different levels of consciousness and different situations Thus they add to the understanding and healing of life It therefore does not dismiss or accept any concept in medical field with a fanatic spirit [condemning the others], which restricts the scope of every individual system in isolation It does not get trapped in the belief that only one or more of die disciplines of medical field are true, the remaining being false.
By virtue of this approach to various approaches in medical field, holistic medicine concedes the importance of detailed history taking in homeopathy, n*idosha theory of ayurveda, sankhya philosophy in terms of its conceptualization of universe and life and meridians and ying-yang of Chinese medicine/philosophy Butitdoesnot deny the importance of allopathy either Holistic medicine utilizes synthetic, analytical and reductionist approaches simultaneously with a scrupulous sense of proportion This makes holistic medicine more profound and open with respect to appreciation of physiological, biochemical and other intricate processes, pathophysiological, pathological and other intricate disease processes and various pharmacokinetic and other complex curing processes more complete This way it opens new vistas of knowledge and research to understand and heal life.