The word diagnosis comes from the Greek prefix dia, meaning complete or thorough, and gnosis, or knowledge.
The diagnostic process is geared towards gathering and sorting through information and interpreting this information to arrive at a diagnosis. Treatment is determined by what specific diagnoses are determined. It can be represented as
Information >>> Diagnosis >>> Treatment
If we take a primary physical set of signs and symptoms as the information and reduce these to diagnosis, much of the meaning connected to the person is lost in the process, as a valid critique often held against conventional Allopathic medicine.
Most holistic approaches on the other hand incorporate broad elements of mind, body and spirit, and tend to be more focused on treatment and less focused on assessment. Unfortunately, the word holism has been ‘scientifically defiled’, and often used as synonymous with ‘the mushing of everything we understand into a malfunctioning, soft-bladed blender’.
One way to think about reductionism is as focusing on the trees, and holism as focusing on the forest.
Integral brings the two together. It reconciles the seeming opposites. It brings together the forest, the trees, but also importantly pays attention to the wind moving the tree branches and bushes in the forest.
* Credit and inspiration by Health Wise of Victor Aquista, MD, and The Song of the Cell by oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee