Doctrine of prevention and treatment that emphasizes looking at the whole personbody, mind, emotions, and environmentrather than a single function or organ. It promotes use of a wide range of health practices and therapies, including acupuncture, homeopathy, and nutrition, stressing self-care with traditional commonsense essentials. In the extreme, it may accord equal validity to a wide range of health-care approaches, some incompatible and not all scientific. It does not ignore mainstream Western medical practices but does not see them as the only effective therapies. See also alternative medicine.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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