The Time Has Come: Holistic Medicine

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January 29, 2021

Robert Gray Atkins

Over the last two decades, there has been a shift toward a more holistic approach to patient treatment.  Wellness is a booming industry, and research shows that there is a strong trend in the healthcare sector towards Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine.  Lifestyle Medicine is defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) as “the use of a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connection as a primary therapeutic modality for treatment and reversal of chronic disease.” 

The ACLM reports more than 400% growth in membership in the past four years.  700 physicians, registered nurses, and PhD/Master’s-level health practitioners are now ACLM diplomates.  The ACLM suggests that while rates of chronic disease have reached an all-time high, many of the costliest conditions could be treated more effectively with an Integrative/Lifestyle Medicine approach. 

A 2019 article from the Midland Reporter-Telegram makes a strong case for investment in this combined approach:  “Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach shown to prevent, treat and reverse disease.  It treats the underlying cause of disease rather than its symptoms that are too often addressed with ever-increasing quantities of pills and procedures.  It is important to delineate the distinction that lifestyle medicine is not just preventive medicine, but it offers therapeutic lifestyle interventions for the treatment and reversal of existing chronic diseases.”

Many Lifestyle Medicine practitioners are osteopathic doctors, and Gray’s job postings data calls attention to osteopathy as a highly desirable skill.  An osteopathic physician uses both conventional medicine and osteopathic manipulation, focused on relieving pain and tension in the musculoskeletal system. 

GrayData:  Job Postings for Physicians by Skill

Gray Data on Job Posting for Holistic Medicine

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