The Introduction of Occidental and Oriental Approaches in Biopsychosocial Medicine

  • Yujiro Ikemi
  • Katsutaro Nagata


As researchers and practitioners of biopsychosocial medicine, we have long witnessed the unity of mind and body, and the role of the whole person in the development and therapy of biopsychosocial disorders. For a long time, the dualism of mind and body propagated by Cartesian thought has created an illusion that mind and body could be understood as separate and independent entities, and that both could be understood by their reduction to the most elementary components. With this dualistic view, the body has been conceptualized as a mechanical object that exists independently of consciousness, and the mind has been understood as a spiritual ego or otherwise as a mechanical object, alienated from the body. Although there is no doubt that this mechanical reductionism and compartmentalization have led to great progress in the sciences of man, there reached a point in this line of research where it became evident that mind and body were not isolated mechanisms but a part of the whole living person, of the environment, and of nature itself. In the past two decades or so, we have witnessed a search or a “re-search” for the wholeness of man, for concepts that value mind—body nondualism as well as credit the experiential aspects of man. In this line of research were the existential and humanistic psychotherapies, the body-oriented therapies, as well as the styles of self-actualization based upon Oriental methods and philosophy. Yoga, Zen, Tai-chi, and other types of Oriental meditative, holistic, or bodily techniques are rapidly being incorporated into Western culture. From an Oriental point of view, we would like to elaborate upon the basic tenets of Oriental mind—body nondualism and experiential understanding in relation to biopsychosocial approach.


Psychotropic Drug Oriental Approach Supportive Counseling Biopsychosocial Approach Mechanical Object 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yujiro Ikemi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katsutaro Nagata
    • 3
  1. 1.Kokura Municipal HospitalKitakyūshūJapan
  2. 2.Kyūshū University School of MedicineFukuoka, 812Japan
  3. 3.Kokura Municipal HospitalKitakyūshūJapan

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