20 years ago:British Homoeopathic Journal, April 1984
27 December 2017 (online)
Inauguration of BHMA
Dr JM Ford described the inaugural meeting of the British Holistic Medical Association, which was held at the London Zoo Conference Centre in September 1983. It was fully subscribed, with about 250 delegates, and as many more unable to attend.
The conference aimed to set out principles of holistic medical practice, focussing on the person rather than the disease; and drawing on ancient healing traditions, as well as using up-to-date science. The therapeutic regime could be seen as having three areas of work: first, access to a wide range of interventions, conventional and unconventional; secondly, emphasis on self-help, with the development of personal responsibility for well-being; and thirdly, the acquiring of essential qualities in the holistic practitioner … physical health, emotional caring and mental clarity.
There were speakers from several of the London hospitals, as well as holistic practitioners and the President of the American Holistic Medical Association, Dr Gladys McGarey. Dr Pietroni gave an overview of the tradition of healing; the evolution of modern scientific ideas; and the rift which developed between ‘orthodox’ and ‘alternative’. He stressed the need for education in all aspects of life, and the usefulness of a wide knowledge of effective interventions. He urged a change in the research programme, to include validation of ancient techniques, and exploration of newer ways, with fewer resources devoted to chemically biased research.
Dr Ford was excited by the enthusiasm for this Course: ‘It was a pleasure to attend a conference where there was opportunity for the delegates to practise meditation and relaxation, and where each session began with a moment of silence, within which the attention could focus on the work of the day … (one speaker had indicated the value to a medical practitioner of personally using meditation to awaken his spiritual awareness) … One factor which emerged from the dynamic discussion which ended the conference was the need, which many doctors feel, for an opportunity to come to terms with the stress factors in their own lives’. ‘Physician Heal Thyself’ is the motto of the Association.