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Volume 5, Pages 280-287
Research Article

Clinical Holistic Medicine: Holistic Rehabilitation

1Nordic School of Holistic Medicine and Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Clalit Health Services and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel
3National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva and Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 30 January 2005; Revised 17 March 2005; Accepted 18 March 2005

Copyright © 2005 Søren Ventegodt et al.


Quality of life, health, and ability are often lost at the same time and most often in one decaying existential movement over 5 or 10 years. This “lost life” is mostly too slow to be felt as life threatening, but once awakened to reality, it provokes the deepest of fears in patients: the fear of death itself and destruction of our mere existence. The horrible experience of having “lost life””, often without even noticing how it happened, can be turned into a strong motivation for improvement. Personal development is about finding the life deeply hidden within in order to induce revitalization and rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is about philosophy of life with the integration of the repressed painful feelings and emotions from the past and the letting go of the associated negative beliefs and decisions. The holistic medical toolbox builds on existential theories (the quality of life theories, the life mission theory, the theory of character, the theory of talent, and the holistic process theory) and seems to have the power to rehabilitate the purpose of life, the character of the person, and fundamental existential dimensions of man: (1) love; (2) strength of mind, feelings, and body; and 3) joy, gender, and sexuality; allowing the person once again to express and realize his talents and full potential. The principles of rehabilitation are not very different from other healing, but the task is often more demanding for the holistic physician as the motivation and resources often are very low and the treatment can take many years.