The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) once published a set of values that continue to beautifully explain my practice philosophy:
Optimal Health is the primary goal of the practice of holistic health and medicine. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest level of functioning and balance of the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of human experience, resulting in a dynamic state of being fully alive. This creates a condition of well-being regardless of the presence or absence of disease. This is the pursuit of health creation.
The Healing Power of Love. Holistic healthcare practitioners strive to meet the patient with grace, kindness, acceptance, and spirit without condition, as love is life’s most powerful healer.
Wholeness. Holistic healthcare practitioners view people as the unity of body, mind, spirit, and the systems in which they live.
Prevention and Treatment. Holistic healthcare practitioners promote health, prevent illness, and help raise awareness of disease in our lives rather than merely managing symptoms. A holistic approach relieves symptoms, modifies contributing factors, and enhances the patient’s life system to optimize future well-being.
Innate Healing Power. All people have innate powers of healing in their bodies, minds, and spirits. Holistic healthcare practitioners evoke and help patients utilize these powers to affect the healing process.
Integration of Healing Systems. Integrative practitioners embrace the use of all appropriate global healing traditions and integrative healthcare strategies, disciplines, systems and healthcare professionals for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. We embrace collaborative care among providers and between disciplines.
Relationship-Centered Care. The ideal practitioner-patient relationship is a partnership, which encourages patient autonomy, and values the needs and insights of both parties. The quality of this relationship is an essential contributor to the healing process.
Individuality. Holistic healthcare practitioners focus patient care on the unique needs and nature of the person who has an illness rather than the illness that has the person.
Teaching by Example. Holistic healthcare practitioners continually work toward the personal incorporation of the principles of holistic health, which then profoundly influence the quality of the healing relationship.
Learning Opportunities. All life experiences, including birth, joy, suffering, and the dying process are profound learning opportunities for both patients and healthcare practitioners.