She knew who she was at a young age and dedicated her life to expressing it fully. Dr. Gladys McGarey, internationally recognized as the 'Mother of Holistic Medicine', was born to medical missionaries in 1920 India, and she grew up among lepers, elephants and Indian princes. Her adolescence was filled with awe-inspiring adventures of opposite extremes: attempted recruitment by the Third Reich for Hitler's youth army; travels through the Indian outback on medical safaris with her parents; and being on board a train that was stopped by chanting devotees, led by Mahatma Ghandi himself. Her extraordinary childhood was a precursor for an extraordinary life of breakthrough service to the medical profession. Dr. Gladys, as she is known by her patients and friends, has emerged to become a recognized innovator in alternative and complementary medicine.
Dr. Gladys' life has been dedicated to bridging the gap between conventional medicine and holistic practices, showing how even the most devastating afflictions can be overcome with a potent mixture of natural therapies, traditional medicine, and prayer. Her ability to foster effective holistic self-management of debilitating chronic conditions has attracted patients far and wide.
In 1970, she co-founded the A.R.E Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, where she and her former husband pioneered the integration of allopathic and holistic medical practices laying the groundwork for the cultural shift of recent years. She authored two holistic classics: The Physician Within You: Medicine for the Millennium and Born to Live. She continues to write articles for health publications, notably a health survey for National Geographic Research and Exploration.
Because of her holistic approach to practicing medicine in the 1950's, and her ground-breaking work with Edgar Cayce's medical readings, she has become a highly sought-after international lecturer, sharing the podium with Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and other notables who became her associates in the American Holistic Medical Association which Dr. McGarey co-founded in 1977.
Last year, at the age of 84, she traveled to India and war torn Afghanistan to help implement an international holistic medical project in those developing third-world countries. She worked with children of lepers in villages of northern India, and in the primitive villages of Afghanistan, provided birthing education for women throughout the region. Dr. Gladys defines her mission as "First listening carefully to the wisdom and healing traditions of rural village people, then offering education, training and treatment that support and augment their practices."
She has six grown children active in the fields of orthopedic medicine, Presbyterian ministry, physical therapy, counseling, family medicine, and ophthalmology. She is the subject of Born to Heal, which was written by her daughter, Analea.