Holistic Care – Another Wonderful Post by Dr. David Katz

A while ago a reader wrote to me that using the terms ‘Alternative or Complimentary medicine’ was nonsense.  That the only choices were 1) Medicine (which means Western medicine only: treat the symptom with pharmaceuticals, perform surgery or the like) and 2) Nutrition (which apparently has nothing to do with the term ‘medicine’) and you can’t say the latter will do what the former can.

I didn’t like the tone or the narrow, uninformed viewpoint so I chose not to post the comment.  My blog, my choice.

But it did raise for me how many people are comfortable making such claims despite their lack of interest to research the ‘medicinal’ effects of proper and targeted nutrition – and the huge body of ‘clinical’ evidence that healing and curing are possible without manufactured medicines.  That the health traditions of thousands of years that are still in use today because they work, don’t count.

Well, in that vein I want to share with you another post by Dr. David Katz, who as you probably know by now is one of my favorite medical practitioners.

Holistic medicine works marvels. I tell you that from my own personal experience.  I am still in my body, and in good health, thank God… and it’s due to the holistic approach I took to healing from cancer.  I did not take a combative approach, I took a gentle total body/mind/spirit healing from a ‘wake up call’ approach.  I used traditional medicine to kick-start the journey because my cancer was ‘aggressive’, and by God’s Grace I am beginbody-massagening my 3rd year of good health.  I worked hard to shed negative ways of thinking, narrow ways of acting, and shattered my old understanding of food choices and preparation.  I am not 100% on the former two yet, but working at it all the time! 🙂  I go to a wonderful massage therapist, occasionally see my chiropractor and acupuncturist.  I do ‘light’ meditation to transform unhealthy cells to healthy ones.

When I consult with people who are dealing with cancer, or have pain, weight and inflammatory issues, I ask about their lifestyle first. 

Health issues are often a request for change. Some people won’t heal despite heroic efforts of the doctors because they can’t see or can’t make the change necessary.  One of my clients declined critical dietary changes to help slow down her cancer, or hopefully restore good health completely, because some of the foods, “didn’t taste good’ to her and she didn’t see how she could take 10 different supplements (I take about 20).

In his post Dr. Katz talks about ascending the spiral staircase to good health, one step at a time.  You find what you can do that has the biggest impact first, and go from there… with a Holistic approach.  You are not just a body.  You are a complex, interconnected system of matter, and non-matter, and it all has to be in harmony for balance to return.

Please read full article by clicking on link below.

Holistic Care: Can We Handle the Truth?

David L. Katz, MD, MPH

In 2000, we opened the doors of the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT. Colleagues and I had developed a model of care that was virtually unprecedented at the time, and remains extremely novel today. Our patients, who tend to be very complex, frustrated by the need for help they can’t find, and at times rather desperate, are seen and evaluated by both a naturopathic physician, and either me or my conventionally trained counterpart…

After nearly 15 years, thousands of patients, and a number of publications, I am satisfied that both notions have been fully validated. We have helped, and continue to help, many patients who find the help they need just about nowhere else. We don’t deal in magic or miracles, and I can never guarantee anyone the outcome they want.


If the erosion of health is a degenerating spiral, then its reclamation is a spiral staircase.
Which leads to the good news, and bad, about holistic care, practically — and practicably — defined. The good news is that with real dedication and a commitment to one another and the process, almost every clinician and patient can find a way to ascend at least some distance toward the heights of holistic vitality. Everyone practicing self-care can do the same.

The bad news is that I’ve yet to see a helicopter fly in to get anyone there in one fell swoop. To be effectively holistic, we all also need to be realistic. The climb is made one step at a time. Our popular culture- television shows, books, and marketing hype- keeps telling us to expect the helicopter. It isn’t coming.

Whether in the context of medical care, or self-care, you can get there from here. It’s all the same whether it’s the 70 year-old Ms. P; a 17 year-old girl with an eating disorder and dysfunctional family; a 37 year-old woman with a hectic mix of job, two kids, a husband, and those extra pounds that just won’t go; a 52 year-old man with chronic back pain and rising blood pressure; or you. We can effectively immunize ourselves, and those we love, against the chronic diseases that lead the way down that drain. The reachable prize is more years of life, more life in years; more vitality. The prize is a better life, and it’s well worth the modest investment of time and effort required. But acquiring skills does take some investment; that’s the truth.

There are no magic wands involved; there are unlikely to be any miracles along the way. A helicopter is very unlikely to drop from the sky and carry you off. It won’t be about just one food or nutrient; it won’t be the result of embracing some panacea, or dispatching some scapegoat. It will result from a well-reasoned sequence of steps, each conducted with the requisite skill. Skill-power, and the right sequence of steps can get you there; pretty much everything else is wishful thinking, or false promise.

The promise of holistic care, with or without the help of a clinician, is real. The luminous prize- more vitality and a better life-is truly accessible to most of us. But while the vision should be holistic, the journey is still made one step at a time. That’s the truth. I hope we can handle it.


~ Be Well.


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