A: Technically, holistic and integrative medicines are different, and yet they work synergistically. Both tend to empower patients to take an active role in their own healing. Holistic medicine looks at the individual patient as a whole human being (mind, body, spirit, emotions, lifestyle, etc.), not as a disease process or injured part. The holistic approach considers the big picture—how the patient functions and how alternative therapies can help.
Integrative medicine uses all available means—both conventional and alternative therapies.
Integrative medicine uses all available means—both conventional and alternative therapies—to help with the health and healing of a patient. In some situations, conventional medicine may be the best approach, but in others it may not offer a surefire cure. Adding well-selected alternative or complementary approaches offers greater healing potential. Options for working with pain, for example, may include breathwork, nutrition, herbs, group support, yoga, meditation, and even volunteering. In this sense, integrative medicine is also holistic, because it understands that our body and mind are intertwined. So when I describe my practice as integrative, I am referring to both approaches combined.