The concept of holistic medicine is nothing new, but the concept is relatively new. The Holistic Medicine Man was founded by Dr. William Kelley. He was born in Arkansas City, Kans., and raised by his widowed mother. He studied physical sciences and later earned a master’s degree in education. After earning his dental degree, Kelley dabbled in holistic orthodontia. While he was at Baylor University, he started a mail-order vitamin company, and his four children received nutritional practices. His oldest daughter, Kim, has since become a certified holistic nutritionist.
Originally from Colorado, Rakel has become a national leader in integrative medicine. He offers many holistic treatments, including acupuncture, guided imagery, nutrition education, and lifestyle advice. Rakel has won many teaching awards and is an elected member of the Gold Humanism Medical Society. Currently based in Albuquerque, he serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is scheduled to return to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health in 2021.
During his medical training, Rakel studied integrative medicine, holistic health, and healing arts in Tucson. He wanted to bring these skills to the broader American healthcare system. He completed a residency in family medicine at the University of Arizona, where he taught integrative medicine. His work has earned him several teaching awards, including the Baldwin E. Lloyd Clinical Teacher Award, the Marc Hansen Lecture Award, and the resident teacher of the year award.
In the 1980s, actor Steve McQueen sought treatment from Holistic Medicine Man William Kelley for his incurable mesothelioma. The actor’s illness did not respond to mainstream treatments, and he was falsely reported to be in remission. In the late 1970s, he received a glowing article in People Weekly Magazine, describing him as “McQueen’s Holistic Medicine Man.” Unfortunately, McQueen died two years after the unorthodox surgery that brought his cancer back. Many other terminal cancer patients sought out Dr. Kelley’s regimen for relief of their symptoms.
After many years of working with sick patients, Dr. Kelley’s practice closed in Dallas. He had become burned out from working with patients. He was also harassed by the conventional medical world and by governmental agencies. His practice never recovered, and he was in desperate financial condition. His partner had to help him with the business. In addition to his extensive training, Dr. Kelley was a member of many professional organizations.
Isabel Sandoval, Holistic Medicine Man was a breakthrough film for the actress in 2012. In a remarkably complex performance, she plays a trans Filipina who lives in New York and struggles to pay her bills, send money to her mother, and marry an American man to get a green card. Her portrayal of this private woman creates a voyeuristic look at her world. Meanwhile, her relationship with Alex, the second generation Russian American delinquent grandson of her mother Olga (Joannette Savino), becomes a subtle romance between Olivia and Alex.
In addition to her first film, Isabel Sandoval has written and directed three other films. Her debut, Lingua Franca, about a Filipina working in Brooklyn, premiered at the 2011 Locarno FF in the Concorso Cineasti del presente, and her follow-up, Tropical Gothic, was a competitor in the New Currents section of the 2012 Busan IFF. Her debut feature is regarded as a modern Philippine classic and regularly programs in retrospectives of Filpino cinema. Sandoval is currently developing her fourth feature, about the haunting of a 16th century surrealist drama.