HOLISTIC medicine was the main theme of the two-day Fiji College of General Practitioners annual meeting held at the Fijian Resort in Sigatoka over the weekend.
Conference director Dr Devika Kumar said holistic medicine was the modern way of practising medicine.
"It means looking at a patient in totality and treating the mind, as well as the body," said Dr Kumar.
"A practitioner with a holistic approach treats the symptoms of illness as well as looking for the underlying cause of the illness.
"It attempts to prevent illness by placing greater emphasis on optimising health."
In his message to members, Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said the practice of holistic medicine integrated conventional and complementary therapies to promote optimal health and prevent and treat disease by addressing contributing factors.
"Holistic health care practitioners strive to meet the patient with grace, kindness, acceptance and spirit without condition as love is life's most powerful healer," Dr Sharma said.
"In practice, this means that each person is seen as a unique individual rather than an example of a particular disease."
He said healing, therefore, takes place naturally when these aspects of life were brought into proper balance.
"The role of the practitioner is to guide, mentor and be a role model. The patient must do the work by changing their lifestyle, beliefs and old habits in order to facilitate healing."
More than 200 general practitioners attended the conference.