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Volume 6, Pages 1977-1984
Review Article

Clinical Holistic Medicine: The Dean Ornish Program (“Opening the Heart”) in Cardiovascular Disease

1Nordic School of Holistic Medicine and Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgå rdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2The Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
3National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Israel
4Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
5Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 30 March 2005; Accepted 4 May 2005

Academic Editor: Mohammed Morad

Copyright © 2006 Søren Ventegodt et al.


Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California has created an intensive holistic treatment for coronary heart patients with improved diet (low fat, whole foods, plant based), exercise, stress management, and social support that has proven to be efficient. In this paper, we analyze the rationale behind his cure in relation to contemporary holistic medical theory. In spite of a complex treatment program, the principles seem to be simple and in accordance with holistic medical theories, like the Antonovsky concept of rehabilitating the sense of coherence and the life mission theory for holistic medicine. We believe there is a need for the allocation of resources for further research into the aspects of holistic health and its methods, where positive and significant results have been proven and reproduced at several sites.