Holistic Health and Its Evolution in America

Holistic health practices are based on the idea that the most effective healing comes from considering the whole person, rather than a pointed focus on certain symptoms, body parts or illnesses. While some of the specific treatment methods have changed and evolved over the years, many of the basic principles remain the same as they did thousands of years ago.

Here’s a quick look at some facts on holistic health and its history.

Ancient times

The roots of holistic medicine began with people believing it was important for an individual to achieve emotional and spiritual wellbeing if they hoped to also achieve physical health.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dates back nearly 5,000 years, and from the very start, it embraced principles of holistic medicine, viewing the body as a series of interconnected systems and energies that must be embraced and analyzed as a system.

Ayurveda is another ancient medical tradition, from India, that embraces holistic medicine principles. Holistic health practitioners who practice ayurvedic medicine focus on bringing their patients to balance and helping them achieve moderation.

Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine known to man, and has roots in indigenous cultures all over the globe throughout history. Herbalism is a crucial element of Ayurveda and TCM, and often combines other spiritual and emotional elements with some natural remedies.


Today’s food has more chemicals than ever, and people are exposed to more pollution and toxicity in the environment than at any point in history. Obesity and heart disease are essentially epidemics, as are other forms of chronic disease. The poor diets and exercise habits of many Americans are often associated with chronic depression, anxiety and elevated stress levels.

This is why there has been a return to many ancient holistic health principles. With so many factors influencing people’s overall health, it is important to address all of those factors if one is to truly feel well.

Very few medical doctors will include holistic healthcare as part of their practice, so usually holistic healthcare comes in the form of supplemental medicine and nutrition. Healing alternatives that are often used in these settings include nutrition, massage therapy, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic medicine and homeopathic medicine.

Holistic health professionals will typically be experts in one or two forms of restorative health, including some of the examples listed above. Doctors will typically not recommend holistic health practices as a replacement for standard Western medical procedures, but may be willing to discuss the benefits of using it alongside medical care they prescribe.

At A Gift of Health, we believe in the use of natural vitamins and supplements as part of a great approach for holistic health and wellness. If you’re interested in learning more about holistic health and its evolution, or about the vitamins and supplements we have in stock and the various benefits of introducing natural supplements to your everyday routine, we encourage you to contact the team at A Gift of Health with any questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you.

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