Welcome to the premiere issue of Holistic Primary Care, a bimonthly newspaper that will bring you practical, timely, and balanced coverage of the world of holistic or "alternative" medicine, as it moves into the mainstream of modern practice.
Holistic Primary Care is designed to help you make sense of the myriad forms of natural medicine by covering the continuing medical education conferences in which they are described, discussed and debated. We will provide data and expert analysis to help you to form your own opinions about what is worth a try and what should be avoided. We will research the economic, political and medicolegal aspects of holistic health care as they apply to real-world practice. But as we sort out the details, we'll also watch the big picture, the evolving trends, so you'll know what is around the next bend before patients come in with reams of internet downloads and bundles of difficult questions.
The growth of alternative health care shows clearly that many people want more from a medical encounter than mere symptom relief. They want to be heard and understood; touched, not merely treated. They seek connections to something deeper than the mechanics of disease and cure, and they want to be involved in their own well-being. Holistic modalities like acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, biofeedback, Ayurveda, botanical and nutritional medicine offer many tools for achieving these ends.
True, there are other types of practitioners already use these approaches. But public surveys show that most Americans still look to you—their medical doctors—to help guide them. MDs who dismiss natural medicine outright do so to the detriment of their patients and their profession.
Holistic Primary Care will give you information that enables you to better assume the twin roles of healer and guide. And we will do our best to avoid "taking sides." We are not here to promote any specific agenda, nor are we of the mind that allopathic medicine is inherently "bad" and alternative medicine is inherently "good." Our "stance" is simply that the movement toward medical alternatives has great potential for enriching health care in this country, and it behooves physicians to be well-informed about the benefits and potential hazards of these approaches.
If you already practice holistic modalities, collaborate with those who do, or plan to move in that direction, we will help you get the most from these techniques. But even if you have no wish to change the way you practice, Holistic Primary Care can aid you in openly and intelligently addressing your patients' interests. We encourage you to share our newspaper with your patients, and to let them know your thoughts on what you are reading.
On behalf of our staff and our editorial advisors, I invite you enjoy this and future issues of Holistic Primary Care. Please let me know how we can best serve your needs and interests. I invite you to call or write to us with story suggestions, clinical experiences, comments, and criticisms. I hope that in a small way, our "News for Health and Healing" can aid you in fulfilling your noble calling: preserving and restoring the health of those of us who depend on your skills, knowledge, and compassion.
Erik L. Goldman
Editor in Chief