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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
 
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  Home  > Helping Professionals  > Atomistic/Holistic Continuum

Atomistic/Holistic Continuum

Now we will develop a three-dimensional means of illustrating more important distinctions between the treatment and wellness paradigms, using various disciplines in the illness and health care arenas.
First let us add to the one-dimensional Illness/Wellness Continuum, a second continuum in a vertical dimension, showing holism in the upward direction and atomism (splitting things into their smallest recognizable components) in the downward direction - an Atomistic/Holistic Continuum.

Atomistic/Holistic Continuum

Moving upward on the Atomistic/Holistic Continuum requires a change in our beliefs about how things stand in relation to each other. The Paradigm of Disconnection gives birth to the atomistic/reductionist viewpoint that science has traditionally embraced. It looks at disease as the sum of various components and believes that it can be understood by taking them apart and analyzing them independent of each other. From the Paradigm of Connection, a holistic viewpoint emerges. Health is seen as an integration of all areas of our life, with everything affecting everything else, and the overall effect being much greater than the simple summing up of many parts. (continues)




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