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Holistic Health

The Buddhist concept of health and disease is formulated within the context of the principle of Dependent Origination and its related law of kamma. Accordingly, health and disease are to be understood holistically in their over-all state in relation to the whole system and environmental conditions-social, economic, and cultural.

This view is diametrically opposite to the analytic view which tends to dissect human beings into different segments both in the physical and mental realms. As a result health is defined too narrowly as the mere absence of measurable symptoms of disease. Doctors and other medical personnel who hold such view direct their attention to particular parts of a person when considering whether or not a person is healthy and have not been concerned enough with their patients as whole human beings, reducing their care of them to the quantifiable control of physical symptoms.


The Buddhist holistic perspective, on the contrary, focuses on the whole person and argues that since human beings are not merely physical creatures but mental, emotional, social and spiritual beings as well and that, as a psychosomatic unity, bodily illness affects the mind and emotions and emotional, mental and social maladjustments can affect the body, then to be concerned about a person's health one must be concerned about his entire person, body, mind and emotions, as well as his social environment.

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