Does Your Doctor Espouse Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is the practice of combining conventional allopathic medicine with complementary and alternative approaches in an effort to create a comprehensive treatment program.

It’s a growing field of medicine in which the patient and providers work together to develop a diagnostic and therapeutic program that draws on a variety of traditions, expertise and modalities to address an individual’s specific needs.

Integrative medicine seeks to draw on the best of “conventional” and “alternative” medicine.

Conventional medicine or allopathic medicine encompasses drugs and surgery.  This is the kind of medicine most Americans encounter in hospitals and clinics. 

Allopathic medicine is both expensive and invasive.  It is also very good at some things such as handling emergency conditions like massive injury or life-threatening situations.  It is medicine focused on dealing with sickness and does not encompass prevention or health and wellness.  Some conventional medicine is scientifically validated.  Some is not. 

Alternative and complimentary medicine includes therapy which is typically excluded by conventional medicine, and is known as “alternative” medicine because patients use it instead of conventional medicine.  It includes old and new practices such as:

  • Nutrition
  • Supplements & Herbs
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Mind/Body Medicine
  • Energy Medicine
  • Homeopathy

Alternative medicine includes wellness and prevention and allows people to be more proactive about their health.

With integrative medicine which integrates scientifically proven therapies from alternative medicine with those practiced by mainstream medical practitioners, people have the ability to take a more proactive role in their health.  Many favor integrative medicine because they can participate in their care and they want to do it as naturally as possible.

There are more tools in the toolbox under this type of situation and there are therapies for mind, body, and spirit.  

Integrative medicine supports the body’s natural ability to heal itself and takes a holistic approach.  Many times patients have different specialists for different problems and the entire picture may not be obvious.  Integrative medicine can pull it all together and help to diagnose and treat the whole person, as well as help to benefit those who are well by keeping them that way.

Integrative medicine has been institutionalized at such places as the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine as more and more conventional care facilities have begun to recognize it’s value.

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