Understanding Holistic


How do you define holistic? This Understanding Holistic section has been compiled to alert you that here is no single officially-accepted definition for holistic, holistic health, or holistic medicine.


Two Key Definitions

Have you ever been discussing holistic health and discovered that the other person was defining holistic in a totally different way than you? After that you most likely made sure early in the conversation which definition each of you was using. Here are the two key ways that most people use the term holistic.

  • Holistic as a whole made up of interdependent parts. You are most likely to hear these parts referred to as 1) the mind/ body connection; 2) mind/ body/ spirit; 3) physical/ mental/ emotional/ spiritual aspects. When this meaning is applied to illness, it is called holistic medicine and includes a number of factors, such as 1) dealing with the root cause of an illness; 2) increasing patient involvement; and 3) integrating conventional (allopathic) and complementary (alternative) treatment options.
  • Holistic as a synonym for alternative therapies. By this definition, “going holistic” means turning away from any conventional medical options and using alternative treatment exclusively. This meaning mainly relates to illness situations, and sometimes is used for controversial therapies.

For other views on what “holistic” means, AHHA has compiled articles in our AHHA Self-Help Articles Collection under category What is Holistic? Learn more about Holistic Health and Holistic Medicine.

AHHA’s View of Holistic

You are a whole, made up of interrelated parts. Everything about you and your life is important and deserves to be taken care of. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects depend on one another for well-being. When one is disrupted, the others suffer as well. This concept is referred to as a whole
person or holistic approach.

AHHA promotes holistic health as an approach to creating wellness, which encourages you to:

  • Balance and integrate yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually
  • Establish healthy and respectful relationships with others and the world around you.
  • Make lifestyle choices that promote your wellness.
  • Participate actively in your own health decisions and healing processes.

AHHA’s Holistic Primer

bookletTo further help you incorporate the holistic concept into your personal holistic approach we offer you AHHA’s booklet, Wellness From Within: The First Step. This booklet explains your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects and will help you understand the power of your everyday choices and the importance of being an active participant in your healing.

Overview of the Holistic Approach


AHHA has selected the basics about the holistic approach from our booklet, Wellness From Within: The First Step, and formatted it so that it can be printed out as a double-sided, single-sheet of paper – handy to share with a friend or colleague. You are welcome to download and print out the Gift for a better life sheet – free of charge.



As you progress along your continued research, there are many ways AHHA can continue to be a resource for you. Monthly and weekly we email out materials you may find interesting. Why not sign up for our Free eReports, so we can stay in touch?

  • MONTHLY – Each month we distribute our AHHA Special Updates e-report, which includes:
    • Featured Research Item — Credible science-based research results that you might not otherwise hear about.
    • Featured Issue Item — Opinions from both pro and con sources about a health or health-freedom issue, so that you can make well-informed decisions.
    • Featured AHHA Resource Item — By featuring one of many resources in the AHHA website each month, you eventually learn about everything.
  • WEEKLY – Each week we select one of our self-help articles and feature it on AHHA’s home page. You can check into our home page weekly OR have the convenience of an e-mail alert about the Featured Article of the Week delivered to you personally.



We hope that this section of our website has provided you helpful information as you learn more about holistic and the holistic approach.

Please let us know if our materials helped you find what you needed, or if there are other ways we might be of help. You may contact us by email at mail@ahha.org or by phone at (714) 779-6152.


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