The British Holistic Medical Association publishes think-pieces and shines a spotlight innovative projects embracing holistic healthcare. Our vision is for a more sustainable, compassionate and ‘human’ approach to how we deliver mainstream medicine. We engage with doctors, nurses, carers, community groups and the public – by empowering those from the ground-up, we seek to stimulate whole system change.

Our goals

We want to move away from overprescription

We believe a flourishing and sustainable healthcare service needs to move away from an increasingly unsustainable overprescribe and fix model. As well as treating illness and disease, whole person medicine aims to create resilience and wellbeing. We are interested not just in the biochemistry and pathology of disease, but the routes to ill health and the lived body. We seek an approach to healthcare that considers diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, emotions and beliefs, experiences and relationships, family & community and the world around us. 

We want to underpin healthcare with core values

We promote twelve key principles which we think should underpin all approaches in healthcare: compassion, balance, community-minded, connected, empowered, holistic, integrated, intuitive, meaningful, resilient, self-caring, wisdom and love.  

We want to support resilient doctors and nurses

Practitioners who cannot care for their own bodies and feelings will be much less able to care for others. All practitioners need to be aware that the medical and nursing professions are at higher risk of poor mental health and burnout. We want to help healthcare workers to understand the origins of health and find time to attend to their own wellbeing and build resilience.

What we do

We share resources

Through our journal and website, we publish the best examples of holistic healthcare and encourage new thinking and debate. We act as a beacon for community health projects being delivered across the UK. By showing how these projects are being delivered and their positive impacts, we are offering real solutions, hope and empowerment to others. Browse our articles or become a member to freely download our Journals. 

We support

We help the medical and care community to build resilience and self-care as well as gain professional development by sharing events, courses and guidance.

We connect

With our events and online forums, we bring together a community of like-minded people to share thoughts, ideas and introduce new possibilities. Our national database of members includes medical practitioners, allied health professionals, academics, carers, civil servants and decision-makers, charities and community groups, complementary practitioners and the public. This year our strategic focus is on developing a network to champion our Real Food Campaign.

We explain

The concept of holism can be difficult to understand, especially in a world driven by complexity, process and regulation. By encouraging conversations about what it is and how to get back to a broader view of health that recognises complexity, we aim to take the fear out of the unknown and return to more nurturing practices.

Read more

Meet the team

Dr William House
Dr William HouseChair
William House is a retired general practitioner interested in understanding health and illness in non-medical ways, especially the creative arts, and through the social and economic roots of health and illness. He undertakes research in primary care, including aspects of holistic practice. William leads a community development for health organisation in Keynsham.
Dr Antonia Wrigley
Dr Antonia WrigleyVice Chair
Antonia Wrigley is a GP and functional medicine practitioner. She has had an interest in Nutrition, Natural Medicine and Holistic Practice for many years, taking time out of her medical training to explore different Healing Arts including gaining a BSc in Nutrition and training in Western Herbal Medicine. She also has a passion for Sustainability Issues and enabling Healthy Communities and this has led her to found the Real Food Campaign.
Dr Thuli Whitehouse
Dr Thuli WhitehouseTrustee
Thuli Whitehouse is a GP and a Yoga Teacher. She has studied Ayurvedic Medicine and Anthropology, completed two yoga teacher trainings and worked in India. She now runs yoga classes and retreats alongside her work in General Practice. She is dedicated to uniting the scientific and holistic paradigms to bring ever improving health.
Betsan Corkhill
Betsan CorkhillTrustee
Betsan is a Lifestyle Health Coach who has many years clinical experience as a former senior physiotherapist. As a coach she specialises in working with people living with long-term health problems, particularly pain and is a passionate advocate for a whole-person approach to health. She is the recognised world expert on the use of therapeutic knitting for improving health, wellness and managing illness. As a published author she has written, contributed to, or featured in, articles for hundreds of magazines, newspapers and websites around the world as well as live radio including BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour and iPM. She was nominated as one of the ‘Women of the Year’ in 2015 for her contribution to society.
Ian Henghes
Ian HenghesTrustee
Ian Henghes is a visual communications specialist. He founded a video facilities company, headed an interactive design division, and has produced a wide range of projects especially in the heritage and arts sectors. Ian works primarily in online development, and enjoys a range of activities including phototography and teaching children ICT and film skills.
Peter Donebauer
Peter DonebauerTrustee
Peter Donebauer has had a life long commitment to holistic life views. He is a full-time moving image artist (again) after 22 years running Diverse Production Ltd, one of the UK’s most respected producers of broadcast factual programmes. His website www.donebauer.net
David Balen
David BalenTrustee
David Balen is Managing Director of Balens, one of the largest Independent Insurance Brokerage Firms for Health and Well-being Professionals in the UK and the ROI and a 3rd generation Family business. A trustee of three charities, David is passionate about the benefits of Natural Medicine and is seeking to facilitate metadata analysis regarding its benefits. He regularly lectures and writes journal articles on Insurance and Risk Management.
Professor David Peters
Professor David PetersEditor in Chief of the Journal of Holistic Healthcare
Formerly a family doctor, David now works as a musculoskeletal physician using osteopathy, acupuncture and body-oriented psychotherapy. He co-founded Westminster Centre for Resilience and has led on a series of R&D projects bringing non-pharmaceutical treatments (including osteopathy and acupuncture) into the NHS. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, he was awarded a 4-star rating for my impact in this field of work. His current research focuses on doctors’ wellbeing.
Jodie Chan
Jodie ChanHead of Communications
Jodie has a background in research communications and has worked on a range of projects for WWF, Oxfam and the Natural Environment Research Council. Having grown up in a family of doctors and nurses, she is a passionate supporter of a healthcare model that better works for patients and the medical community alike. She has joined the team to help promote the BHMA far and wide and help others to benefit from our knowledge and resources.
Megan Gell
Megan GellCommunications Manager - memberships
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Megan works in journalism and is a keen advocate of holistic and more empowering approaches to healthcare. She is focusing on community engagement and administrative support and will also be assisting Jodie with new initiatives.
VACANCY:
VACANCY: Student Ambassador
Listening to the voice of the next generation of healthcare professionals is vital to the BHMA. We are seeking student undergraduate representation from either a medical or nursing degree to join our board of trustees and make a real difference. This is a two-year minimum term. Read more at:
https://bhma.org/vacancy-student-ambassador/

The human spirit glows from that small inner doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain and injustice.  

Saul Alinsky (Rules for Radicals)

It is precisely in a broken age that we need mystery and a reawakened  sense of wonder: need them in order to be whole again.

Ben Okri (A way of being free)

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of 
meaning and purpose.

Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)

The slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge of lesser things.

Saint Thomas Aquinas (in Paths to the Divine: Ancient and Indian by Vensus A George)

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Marcel Proust (La Prisonniere)