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Wholistic VS Holistic is there a difference?

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

Is there a difference between wholistic and holistic approaches?

I am writing this blog post to address a comment that was made regarding my business name.

When asking for feedback regarding a brochure for my business two of my friends identified that I spelt wholistic wrong. They felt that the way I was spelling it would come across as uneducated or unprofessional.  Holistic is a commonly accepted term in medicine but Wholistic isn’t.

Technically speaking, although most people will use holistic more commonly, spelling it with a “w” isn’t wrong according to my research.  For me, I made a choice to spell Wholistic with a W because of it’s wide encompassing scope. That it considers the whole person including the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social aspects.

Wholistic healthcare to me looks at the patient as a whole person including their circumstances and not a symptom, disease or illness.  It develops a plan of care that is patient-centered and driven by the patient’s values and beliefs, education, supports, finances, and current standards for treatment. It also embraces the mind-body connection and is inclusive of alternative therapies the patient is interested in. A wholistic approach is a team-based approach where the patient is the centre of decision making.

When I think about the words whole and hole, I come up with this:

Whole = all, entire

Hole = a hollow empty space

To sum it all up, I haven’t misspelt holistic, I’ve made an educated choice. I believe using the spelling Wholistic aims to recognize the importance of the whole person and the whole healthcare system both traditional and alternative medicine.


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