The Rise of Integrative Medicine

The holistic health movement began in the 1970’s as a result of the of “getting back to nature” movement that was emerging at this time. This movement directly overlaps with the “New Age movement”. (New Age movement is not actually a religion but more a collection of Eastern influenced metaphysical thoughts and ideals. New Age is often defined as the “feel-good” movement with a creed of universal tolerance). With the New Age movement there was an increased emphasize on inner tranquility, harmony, and wellness. The New Age movement was catalysis for the “awakening” for the holistic health movement because doctors and scientists alike were now interested in understanding the psychological side of healing. The New Age movement incorporates the practice of channeling positive energy to certain areas of your body that may be affected by illness as a healing method. It also incorporates the use of guided visualization that my help an individual suffering from a state of depression because they can visualize a positive experience that they had within their life time and channel this energy to start to feeling better.  The idea of the holistic health movement is to explore the human potential of self healing and to observe how alternative forms of medicine like martial arts, yoga, meditation and psychosomatic medicine (outside influences) that contribute to an individual’s health.  The idea of holistic medicine is to decrease the stress levels, to bring someone to a greater awareness of how natural therapies can influence their overall health. In holistic health there is a belief that within our body there in a certain flow of energy and through the use of holistic health an individual can increase consciousness and awareness of one’s state of heath. There is also a belief that the individual is responsible for their overall health and welfare. Today, holistic health has taken on a new name, “integrative medicine” or “complementary and alternative medicine.” Today it has become a major area of interest for research, scientists and doctors in an attempt to harness and tap into understanding the vastness of human’s “psychological power,” the idea that our mind has the ability to cure individuals from disease and illness. As Andrew Weil M.D. from Harvard Medical School states, “Most physicians focus on the physical bodies while they ignore their patient’s mental and spiritual status.”  Weil also states that, “Alternative medicine systems offer worthwhile techniques, such as the spiritual manipulation performed by chiropractors.”

Video from interview with Andrew Weil on Integrative Medicine:

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Drew Kilker

I'm a sophomore biology major at Dickinson College. I'm also a runner for Dickinson College's cross-country and track and field program. In addition to being a runner I'm also an Eagle Scout and a black belt in karate in the style of Tien Chen Pie. After graduating from Dickinson College I'm interesting in attending medical school.

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