Alternative Medicine is Holistic, Western Medicine is Reductionist
Alternative Medicine is Holistic, Western Medicine is ReductionistThe major difference between alternative medicine, or what I'll call holistic health, and Western medicine, is in approach.A Western doctor, or MD, sees his duty as searching out disease, diagnosing it, and treating it. If he does that correctly and effectively, he's done his job. Most often, this means the doctor prescribing a pharmaceutical drug or a surgical procedure to remedy the situation. The patients is passive in all of this.A holistic health practitioner sees her duty as an educator and a facilitator. She feels that the body can heal itself, and it doesn't necessarily need outside influences (drugs, surgery) to heal from an illness or to prevent an illness. In holistic health, the patient is an active participant.This is the best and the worst thing about holistic health! The patient is actively involved in the healing process. Everything you know about your body says that this is the right approach. It makes so much sense. That's the good part. The bad thing about this is that it is HARD WORK for the patient. In most cases, the patient must make changes to their lifestyle. Change your diet, do more exercise, stop using sugar, do these stretches, stop negative thoughts, meditate twice a day, etc.Making lifestyle changes is immensely difficult. The only time it's easy is when you are faced with a life-threatening disease. When you find out you have lung cancer, it's pretty easy to quit smoking. However, it's far too late by that time. Lifestyle changes need to come before the illness becomes manifest.Let's examine one of the big differences between holistic health and Western medicine: holism versus reductionism.Holistic versus ReductionistThis is a major shift in perspective. Taking a holistic perspective means that you cannot understand a single problem with a single part of the human body without looking at the whole person. We use the short-hand mind, body, spirit to refer to the whole person.This is not how a Western doctor is taught to see a patient. He sees the patient as the disease. This is an epileptic, it is not a whole person who has epilepsy. He feels that he can administer a drug or perform a surgery that will cure a person's liver without making any difference to the rest of the person. Of course, this is never possible, so when the inevitable complications arise, the Western doctor deals with those one at a time, often causing additional problems for the person, whether in body, mind or spirit.Even those three parts of the person are treated by separate people in Western society. The body is the domain of the medical doctor. The mind is the domain of the psychiatrist. Spirit is left to the priest, rabbi or pastor. There is no overlap in roles, except for referrals from one to the other. In our bodies, of course, there is tremendous overlap. A loss of connection to God or the universe will cause no end of mental and physical problems. Mental stress causes many physical diseases, as we well know. Who can coordinate between these in the Western system? No one. Problems falling through the cracks between mind, body and spirit is a common failure of Western medicine.A holistic practitioner understands the interconnections between mind, body and spirit. They work on the connections, and, although the practitioner may not be an expert in all three, they focus on the overlaps rather than ignoring them.In my opinion, a holistic approach is better in almost every case for almost every person. Understanding the linkages between mind, body and spirit is essential to understanding how to stay well and how to heal. Western medicine can play a part within the scope of holistic health by offering emergency solutions to problems that arise quickly and need to be fixed immediately.
Opiate Addiction: A Holistic Approach
This video is a retelling of a lecture I gave last year at Herbstalk in Boston focusing on holistic modalities that could be used to treat opiate/heroin addiction.
This video will cover mind body therapies, entheogens, traditional chinese medicine, and neurotransmitter precursors as well as common western treatments for the opiate crisis
A Video by Dr. Robert Smith Medicinal Chemistry - Fusion of Traditional and Western Medicine
Medicinal Chemistry - Fusion of Traditional and Western Medicine is a textbook intended for students taking courses in the various fields of medicinal chemistry, pharmacy, medical and dental programs. Moreover, people working in the pharmaceutical industry and doctors preparing for Medical Board Exams will also find it useful. It is therefore a fusion of traditional and western medicine and between systems thinking and reductionist thinking. Readers will learn about how new drugs are investigated, developed and eventually approved by the FDA. This book offers exceptional value in its descriptions of RNA, epigenetics, toxicology, new drug development, genetically modified organisms and analytical chemistry that cannot be found in other textbooks.
Robert Smith, Park University and Consultant Science Advisor, United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), USA
The Clinician's View of Holistic Medicine - B.M. Hegde
One of the insightful and eye-opening talks of B.M. Hegde on The Clinician's View of Holistic Medicine.
Belle Monappa Hegde often abbreviated as B. M. Hegde is an Indian medical scientist, educationist and author. He is a retired Vice Chancellor of the Manipal University and the head of the Mangalore Chapter of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He has authored several books on medical practice and ethics. He is also the Editor in Chief of the medical journal, Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes. He was awarded the Dr. B. C. Roy Award in 1999. In 2010 He was honoured with a Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards.
The Wellness Concept - 1:21
The Mother of Most Wisdoms - 2:58
Reductionist Science has Failed - 3:45
Future is for Health Promotion - 6:41
Human Body Follows Non-Linear Holism - 10:05
Disease is not in the Body - 12:44
The Heart 15,000 Years Ago - 16:45
Ayurveda and Immune Boosters - 18:16
The Rhythms of the Human Body - 19:20
How Breathing Changes the Hearts Function - 21:20
What Happens When Doctors Go on Strike? = 24:19
Propective Study on Check-ups - 25:31
Maggots for Wound Healing - 28:12
Old Granny's Recipe Now Proven Scientifically - 28:50
Future of Medicare - 29:10
The Difference Between Conventional Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine by LifeGuard Clinic
Learn the Difference Between Conventional Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine by LifeGuard Clinic. Not everybody understands why they should see a Naturopath, you can find that answer here with Dr. Vitaro!
LifeGuard Wellness Clinic
Homeopathic Remedies and Holistic Definitions of Alternative Medicine
Homeopathic Remedies and Holistic Definitions of Alternative Medicine are offered in a teleseminar format.
The Truth About Holistic Healing For Acne
Modern medicine is based on treating the body in pieces and parts. Symptoms are isolated and then treated as a disease. Medication is administered for the purpose of suppressing the symptoms, not eliminating them or finding the root cause.
There are instances and conditions that make traditional medicine necessary, even life-saving. In most cases, however, merely suppressing symptoms is like telling your body that you're not interested in what it's trying to tell you. The result is symptoms that re-occur and worsen over time. It's a never-ending cycle of deeper pain and stronger medicine.
The Allopathic Herbalism Trap
Vitalism is an ancient principle found in the western tradition that recognizes the life principle within plants and people. This vital principle is what gives everything life, and while the biochemical attributes of an organism are important, it is not all there is.
The practice of vitalist herbalism is what we see cross-culturally utilized throughout the world. Unfortunately these traditional models have often been abandoned in favor of our more modern biomedical model of medicine, which often traps people in an allopathic method of practice that doesn't get to the root causes of disease.
In this video, Sajah Popham shares some of the core reasons adopting a vitalist model of herbal practice is critically important to be a truly holistic and effective practitioner of plant medicine.
Get the full blog post here:
Be sure to sign up for our Vitalist Herbalism Mini-Course for FREE here:
Metaphysics & Medicine: Societal Implications with Dr. Larry Malerba (1 of 2)
EBTV with host Evita Ochel ( and featured guest Dr. Larry Malerba ( in a dialogue about the role of metaphysics in medicine, and the limitations and biases of conventional medicine and science.
Dr. Larry Malerba's Books:
1. Dynamic Medicine (
2. Metaphysics & Medicine (
3. Green Medicine (
“It is a disturbing reality that modern medicine believes it can heal illness without consideration for the role of consciousness.” ~ Dr. Larry Malerba, D.O.
Link to past video episode: Green Medicine: A Holistic Approach to Health - youtube.com/watch?v=fZmEqT7x1gs
General topics covered in the video include:
1. A summary of how Dr. Malerba became professionally involved as a holistic physician. (2:05)
2. Dr. Malerba’s view of the conventional medical system. (3:47)
- link to report “Death by Medicine - 2004” (
3. How metaphysics influences medicine. (7:23)
- Book quote: “While medical science projects an image of fact-based certainty, its very foundation is predicated upon unspoken metaphysical beliefs.” Dr. Larry Malerba
- the limitations of materialism
4. The consequences of medicine failing to incorporate our new quantum world-view. (10:50)
- the influence of reductionism
5. How reductionism brings about the illusion of control and leaves us with a fragmented world-view. (14:12)
6. How mechanism in Western medicine confuses association with causation, and results in circular thinking.
7. How rationalism is one of the most flagrantly abused ‘isms’ of Western medicine. (19:26)
8. The financial limitations of individual patient care in light of the current medical model. (25:46)
9. How objectivism dismisses patient’s experiences, fuels its own biases, and objectifies the body and disease. (28:42)
10. How conformism has limited both patients and healthcare providers into a limited way of thinking. (30:55)
11. How skepticism limits our progress and potential. (39:09)
- an example of how the Measles outbreak and vaccination policy is influenced by skepticism
12. Societal next steps given the challenges of modern medical science. (47:31)