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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA June 2012
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 2 June 2012 43 INTRODUCTION Mary Ann Chance played a role in my adventure in chiropractic, in spite of geography and distances. We met in 1985 on the occasion of the annual convention of the European Chiropractors’ Union in Scheveningen near The Hague (The Netherlands). Over several decades I could follow her activities in the austere feld of chiropractic publications internationally for which she had broad perspectives and determination. In her editorial activities she searched with subtlety the precise discourse of the author. Together with her husband Rolf Peters she welcomed manuscripts, such as the following one on holism, which connected anthropology and other domains, usually treated separately, in order to develop renewed approaches and signifcance for chiropractic. Mary Ann displayed many talents; she had a great talent for friendship THE HOLISTIC QUEST Holism is dear to chiropractors and to many health professionals. The term derives from the Greek holos (whole, uninjured) and from the Latin sol- or sal- (whole, healthy). It refers to the encompassing approach of sets of circumstances, such as cosmos, living and inanimate matter; human beings in their physiological and mental processes; certain societies as coherent systems; relationships between wholes and their components; etc. This notion therefore pertains to many felds of knowledge and participates in the history of thought. Traditional cultures, philosophies, and religions are holistic. Their worldviews and anthropological conceptions assign individuals and peoples an original position in space and time; they explain the chief end of man, the origin and purpose of human existence. While they provide stable references they are adaptable to societal and historical changes thus ensuring a continuity. Let us mention, for instance, the worldviews of Melanesians and Amerindians; Indian, Chinese, and Greek philosophies; as well as monotheistic religions. Similarly, esoterical traditions provide comprehensive representations that associate different levels of reality -- macrocosm and microcosm; cosmic forces and the natural world, including human beings -- in a dynamic continuum of interactions and analogies. Modern esoterical currents refer to quantum physics and to neurosciences. Conversely, some scientists and non-scientists interpret the data of astrophysics, physics, and biology in a metaphysical manner that gives meaning and purpose to the natural world. Anthropologists and sociologists have developed the notion of holism (Emile Durkheim, Louis Dumont, etc.). Holistic worldviews have also been used to justify totalitarian ideologies. Nowadays, the term holism may vaguely indicate a global system of interpretation, or the opposite of individualism. This article follows Ian Coulter’s injunction: “All those alternative paradigms that claim to be holistic should be subjected to a critical philosophical examination of what such a claim means.”1 Is holism a powerful and heuristic notion, a washed-out and mercantile invocation, or an elusive endeavour? A glimpse of recent history of thought is a starting point to explore this notion in various aspects of health care, including patients’ attitudes and roles. Holism in Health Care: A Powerful Notion or an Elusive Endeavour? CHANTAL JOLLIOT Chantal Jolliot, DC, PhD 22, avenue du Général de Gaulle 67000 Strasbourg, France Received: 16 May 2011, accepted: 20 September 2011 ABSTRACT: The notion of holism participates in the history of thought. While scientifc advances of last centuries garnered wide support for their underlying materialistic and reductionist approach, the ancient assumption that the whole is more, or different, than the sum of its parts is still meaningful. Considerations on holism in health care take into account importance of cultural backgrounds; lifestyles and societal circumstances; complexity of individuals' attitudes and roles; current interpretations of the notion; and public health policies. Chiropractic and its principles that associate several domains of refexion have characteristics of holism in the defnition of the person and as a method of health care. This is now interpreted as the biopsychosocial model. The widely acclaimed holistic approach may be an endeavor, essential although elusive, to maintain individu- als as full-fedged persons in contemporary societies. Eventually, health and its impairments are the rapport of human beings to their own lives, so that holism rests with each individual in a creative endeavor. INDEX TERMS: (MeSH): ANTHROPOLOGY, MEDICAL; CHIROPRACTIC, PRINCIPLES; COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES. (Other): BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL; COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE; HOLISM; PRACTITIONER-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP; REDUCTIONISM. Chiropr J Aust 2012 42: 43-50.
CJA March 2012
CJA September 2012