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Holistic health is a concept in medical practice upholding that all aspects of people's needs including psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole. As defined above, the holistic view is widely accepted in medicine. A different definition, claiming that disease is a result of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and/or environmental imbalance, is used in alternative medicine.
In alternative medicine, it is believed that the spiritual element should also be taken into account when assessing a person's overall well-being. Several disciplines in alternative medicine use the holistic health approach, including but not limited to:
There have been several published scientific studies that dispute the efficacy, beyond the Placebo Effect, of (alternative) holistic medicine in treating any known disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that if holistic medicine is to be used at all, it should be used only in conjunction with conventional medicine and not as a replacement.
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