Whole person health is not altogether a new goal. A whole person health perspective has been central to NCCIH’s mission dating back to its origins. The Center’s current definition of “integrative health” refers to treatment of the whole person as opposed to separate organ systems. Integrative health also aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and institutions by bringing conventional and complementary approaches together to care for the whole person. Further, one of the Center’s longstanding strategic objectives is to foster health promotion and disease prevention, central tenets of whole person health.
This strategic plan has been informed and shaped by an effort to better define and map a path to whole person health by expanding and building on current activities while advancing new research strategies and ideas to promote its realization. The concept of whole person health will continue to evolve, just as the concept of complementary medicine has changed over time as the line between conventional and complementary medicine has increasingly become blurred. (author abstract)