According to the American Holistic Medical Association, the principles of a holistic medical practice are as follows:
Optimal health is the primary goal of holistic medical practice, deriving from the conscious pursuit of the highest level of functioning and balance of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of human experience. The result is a state of being fully alive, a condition of well-being transcending the mere absence or presence of disease.
The Healing Power of Love: Integrative holistic physicians strive to relate to patients with grace, kindness and acceptance, emanating from the attitude of unconditional love as life’s most powerful healer.
Wholeness: Illness is a dysfunction of the whole person – body, mind and spirit – or the environment in which they live, rather than simply a physical disorder or a random isolated event.
Prevention and treatment: Integrative holistic practitioners promote health, prevent illness and manage disease processes. Integrative holistic medical treatment balances relief of symptoms with mitigation of causes.
Innate healing power: All persons have innate powers of healing of body, mind and spirit. Integrative holistic physicians evoke these powers and help patients utilize them to affect the healing process.
Integration of healing systems: Integrative holistic physicians embrace a variety of safe and effective options in diagnosis and treatment, including education for lifestyle changes and self-care, complementary approaches, and conventional drugs and surgery.
Relationship-centered care: The quality of the relationship between physician and patient is a major determinant of healing outcomes which encourages patient autonomy and values the needs and insights of patient and practitioner alike.
Individuality: Integrative holistic physicians expend as much effort in discerning a patient’s uniqueness as they do in establishing what disease may be present.
Teaching by example: Integrative holistic physicians continually work toward the personal incorporation of the principles of holistic health, in turn profoundly influencing patients by their own example and lifestyle choices.
Learning opportunities: All life experiences including birth, illness, suffering, joy, and the dying process are profound learning opportunities for both patients and integrative holistic physicians.