One of the distinguishing features of Hinduism has been its penchant for both analysis and synthesis. The development of specialized knowledge in the classical period contributed to empirical medicine based on analysis. Despite an emphasis on observation, description, categorization, and experimentation, efforts were made to keep the new approach within a general religious framework and to recognize the fact that body, psychology, and behavior (including ethics) must work together with the environment to maintain harmony, prevent disease, or restore health. This integrative approach also prevented a deep split between philosophy and religion or between religion and ethics. In the medieval period, it led to grand synthetic treatises of the Indian schools of medicine, new syntheses with religion, and attempts to integrate the Islamic systems of medicine. By the modern period, the synthetic spirit was at work once again trying to integrate Western medicine.