The words "holism" and "holistic" are derived from the Greek word holos, meaning "whole." Jan Christian Smuts coined the term "holism" in a book published in 1926 titled Holism and Evolution. Holism is based on an understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Practitioners of holistic medicine focus on the whole person, not just a specific disease, and believe that mind, body, and spirit are inseparable. They also believe that good health is not merely the absence of disease, that the body has an innate power to heal itself, and that lifestyle factors contribute to health and illness.
MARY JO KREITZER
Smuts, J. C. (1999). Holism and Evolution: The Original Source of the Holistic Approach to Life. ed. Sanford Holst. Sherman Oaks, CA: Sierra Sunrise Books.