Holistic or Wholistic?

Holistic or Wholistic?When you give integrated whole-patient care, is your nursing holistic or wholistic? What’s the difference?

“Christian nurses often struggle with the term 'holistic' when it refers to an alternative therapy view that sees the body as a dynamic energy field to be manipulated. This is incompatible with the biblical view of God as our personal Creator and Redeemer,” writes Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner in her new editorial for the Journal of Christian Nursing, July/Sept 2013.

Holistic refers to the idea that the whole is more than just the sum of the parts,” Kathy explains. “If holistic could be understood in this fashion, Christians would have no problem agreeing with and using the term.” Instead, some nurses prefer the term “wholistic” to describe the interdependence of all the parts (the whole). It gets confusing.

“Should we continue to try to differentiate between them?” Kathy asks. Read her conclusions in her JCN article, “Holistic or Wholistic?”


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I am a Christian and the more I study the body, and alternative medicine the more I am moved away from Western medicine. It's a shame that people in the medical community here in the U.S. aren't more open to non-western medicine. WE don't have the best of the best in my opinion.

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