Holistic Medicine may be defined very simply as any system of medicine that treats the whole patient. Holistic medicine addresses an imbalance or disease that arises from the perspective of the patient, not the disease entity. The holistic paradigm incorporates body, mind and spirit and the interaction of an individual with his or her surrounding environment.
Conventional Medicine, also referred to as Western Medicine, Allopathic Medicine or Biomedicine, forms the basis of the mainstream “modern medicine” currently taught in most western medical schools. Intrinsic to conventional medical thinking is a reductionist philosophy which implies that complex systems can be broken down into smaller and simpler parts in order to study and treat them.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) refers to a broad group of diverse modalities that may be used in place of conventional medicine or as an adjunct to allopathic therapy.
Traditional Medicine is sometimes used to mean conventional medicine (within the context of a ‘Western medical tradition’), but also commonly refers to the traditional medicine of other cultures – e.g. Traditional Chinese Medicine or Native American Traditional Medicine.
Integrative Medicine integrates various disciplines of medicine to offer patients a variety of treatment options that will best address their individual needs.