The BHMA, newly named the British Association for Holistic Medicine and Health Care, creates, supports, educates and informs an inclusive community of healthcare professionals and all parts of society about the principles and practice of compassionate, holistic medicine and health care.

Health and healthcare are in crisis.

The challenges humankind faces are fueled by a planet-wide crisis that will soon affect all species. Although there has never been greater potential for us all to flourish together, simply to survive now requires deep adaptation. This process of change will force us to rethink health and healthcare. Struggling with diseases caused by poverty and unsustainable ways of life, the NHS is becoming non-viable. Nor, as the COVID19 pandemic has shown, are our political and medical systems fit to meet the oncoming public health disasters that will follow climate change. Our way forward is uncertain, but it is sure to include empowering individual and collective resilience and compassion.

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.

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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)