It is an approach to care that integrate both modern medicine and evidence-based alternative therapies.
It takes care of the whole person (mind, body and spirit). It addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect the person’s health.
Integrative Medicine picks the very best, scientifically validated therapies from both modern and alternative medicine.
Integrative Medicine is healing-oriented rather than disease-focused.
It promotes the combination of mind, body and spirit to regain the body’s natural equilibrium to achieve health.
The five most common advantages of integrative medicine cited by patients and practitioners include:-
Integrative Medicine focuses on optimizing health prior to the development of disease. It reinforces the body’s innate ability to heal itself, utilizing mindbody medicine lifestyle enhancement and in-depth patient education.
Too often patients go to doctors with multiple symptoms affecting multiple organ systems and see different practitioners for each of their problems. Integrative medicine puts the focus on how various symptoms may be connected and searches for root causes, rather than just treating individual symptoms. The focus becomes restoring balance and considering factors that may affect the patient’s ability to adhere to recommendations such as cultural dietary restrictions or the inability to adhere to an exercise program because of work obligations.
There is a new focus on the practitioner-patient partnership forcing us to look at certain questions. How has the clinician’s role changed? Are there better ways to treat health problems that can only be managed, not cured? The integrative partnership guides and advises patients regarding treatment options. Together, practitioner and patient decide on the best plan of action. In the management of chronic diseases, attention is placed on meeting the patient where they are at the moment. By addressing obstacles to lifestyle changes and treatment adherence, there is a higher likelihood of success with the recommended therapy.
Recommendations may vary in integrative treatment plans according to each individual’s unique situation. In tailoring treatment plans to individual needs, practitioners scrutinize the literature often using the scientific method to evaluate alternative therapies the same way as traditional therapies. Integrative assessments are highly personalized. Patients are asked about everything from environmental exposures to personal relationships. All factors are considered when determining whether or not an individual stays healthy.
By combining modern medicine treatment options along with mind-body therapies, such as music therapy, aromatherapy, art therapy, yoga, meditation and others that has been proven scientifically to be effective, a treatment plan is developed that utilizes the least invasive and most cost-effective therapies first. Attaining a sense of “well-being” is especially important in cases where cure is not always possible. Most integrative providers prescribe treatments amenable to scientific investigation. However, patients are not dissuaded from using certain treatments as long as the proposed remedies are proven to be safe.