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TheScientificWorldJOURNAL
Volume 3 (2003), Pages 1108-1116
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2003.96
Mini-Review Article

Holistic Medicine: Scientific Challenges

The Quality of Life Research Center, Copenhagen K, Denmark

Copyright © 2003 Soren Ventegodt et al.

Abstract

The field of holistic medicine is in need of a scientific approach. We need holistic medicine — and we even need it to be spiritual to include the depths of human existence — but we need it to be a little less “cosmic” in order to encompass the whole human being. Many important research questions and challenges, empirical as well as theoretical, demand the attention from medical researchers. Like a number of other practitioners and researchers, our group at the Quality of Life Research Center in Denmark together with groups in Norway and Israel are trying to tackle the research challenge by using conceptual frameworks of quality of life. We have suggested that quality of life represents a third influence on health beyond the genetic and traumatic factors so far emphasized by mainstream medicine. In our clinical and research efforts, we attempt to specify what a clinician may do to help patients help themselves, by mobilizing the vast resources hidden in their subjective worlds and existence, in their hopes and dreams, and their will to live. The field of holistic medicine must be upgraded to fully integrate human consciousness, scientifically as well as philosophically. We therefore present a number of important research questions for a consciousness-based holistic medicine. New directions in healthcare are called for and we need a new vision of the future of the healthcare sector in the industrialized countries. Every person seems to have immense potentials for self-healing that we scarcely know how to mobilize. A new holistic medicine must find ways to tackle this key challenge. A healthcare system that could do that successfully would bring quality of life, health, and new ability of functioning to many people.