Alternative medicine and complementary medicine are two distinct terms, while holistic medicine is a broader concept that encompasses both. Herbal medicine is a philosophy and practice that is often included in the services offered by holistic medicine. Doug Cutler is a nationally recognized expert in naturopathic medicine and has the highest training in his field, as well as in environmental medicine, intravenous nutrient therapy and detoxification. The distinction between naturopathic medicine and holistic medicine is that naturopathic medicine is its own discipline of medicine with specific training based on natural remedies, while holistic medicine is practiced by doctors with conventional medical training who have a holistic philosophy that focuses on a mind, body and spirit approach to medicine. One of the most popular forms of holistic medicine is holistic and integrative medicine, which combines conventional medicine with functional, alternative and naturopathic medicine to achieve holistic health.
Holistic medicine is an ethos or philosophy of medicine used by doctors who have completed conventional medical training, but who also believe in treating the whole person (body, spirit, mind and emotions) to restore and maintain health. In the past century, conventional medicine has seen some remarkable advances in areas such as emergency care, pathology, surgical interventions, and more. All symptoms have causes, and holistic medicine often uncovers underlying conditions that traditional medicine wouldn't consider. According to the philosophy of holistic medicine, optimal health can be achieved if a proper balance is achieved in life. Naturopathic medicine often uses the philosophies of holistic medicine to treat the entire person's body, emotions, and spirit. The main difference between naturopathic doctors and holistic doctors is that a naturopathic doctor uses natural remedies to allow the body to heal on its own, while holistic doctors use conventional medicine along with other systems of care to provide holistic health.
Because of its restorative and self-healing approach, naturopathy is also often used in integrative medicine and holistic medicine.