What is Integrative Medicine?
Everything you want to know
Integrative Medicine combines traditional medical practices with evidence-based holistic treatments to promote healing and prevent disease. By combining the best of both worlds, integrative medicine can provide an individualized approach to healthcare that focuses on the whole person – body, mind, and spirit – rather than simply treating symptoms.
Combines traditional, Western medicine practices with holistic treatments to best treat and manage health.
What is Integrated Medicine?
Integrative Medicine merges the best of traditional conventional Medicine with evidence-based holistic treatments to improve well-being. Combining complementary and integrative health practices creates a comprehensive approach to healthcare that considers all aspects of a person, including physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Integrative Medicine focuses on treating the whole person rather than individual symptoms or illnesses.
Integrative Medicine is a specialty within the medical profession and is a separate board examination and certification. Therefore, an integrative medicine doctor with board certification and fellowship will have the designation ABOIM after their name.
Integrative Medicine is also a specialty within other fields of health practice, including registered dietitians, chiropractors, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. These specialists focus on integrating other specialties in Medicine to serve the patient best.
Integrative medicine specialists are experts in understanding and integrating conventional medicine, alternative medicine, and complementary therapies. For many patients, it is the “best of both worlds.”
Specialties of integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine professionals use a variety of modalities to treat chronic conditions and promote overall health. These include lifestyle and dietary changes, herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, physical therapy, yoga, and meditation.
Evidence-based alternative Medicine
In addition to conventional treatments such as medications or surgery, if needed, integrative medicine specialists may also recommend what was once considered “alternative therapies.” For example, Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, Ayurvedic Medicine, and Mind-Body Medicine, are all approaches to health and illness that are incorporated into integrative Medicine.
Integrative medicine doctors also take a holistic approach to mental health, incorporating stress management techniques such as mindfulness, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into their treatment plans.
Benefits of Integrative Medicine
Integrative Medicine offers many benefits to those seeking improved health and wellness. These include the ability to:
Treat chronic conditions more effectively.
Integrative medicine practitioners work with patients to develop a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that addresses all aspects of their health, including physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Improve overall health and well-being
Integrative Medicine focuses on preventive care, helping identify and address any underlying issues contributing to a patient’s current health concerns.
Reduce stress levels
Stress can significantly impact an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Therefore, integrative medicine practitioners use various techniques to help reduce stress levels.
Is integrative Medicine right for you?
Integrative Medicine is a comprehensive approach to healthcare that can offer many benefits. If you are interested in exploring integrative Medicine for improved health and wellness, it is essential to be an informed consumer.
Please research and talk to different practitioners about their qualifications and experience.
Tips for finding a complementary and integrative health professional
- Ask questions about the types of therapies they use, their effectiveness for other patients, and any potential risks or side effects.
- Find out if the health care provider takes insurance or offers payment plans.
- Ask for a referral from your primary care physician or other trusted sources.
- Get a feel for the practitioner’s approach to health care. Do they take a holistic view of your health or focus more on traditional treatments?
- Search online for local providers within the integrative medicine network. You can also contact integrative medicine organizations such as the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) or the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABIM).
Integrative Medicine is an effective way to improve your health and overall well-being.
Making your lane
A growing number of patients are moving towards complementary and alternative Medicine. The top 10 most popular approaches among adults are:
- Natural Products
- Deep Breathing
- Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong
- Chiropractic or Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy
- Special Diets
- Progressive Relaxation
- Guided Imagery
Integrative medicine providers work to evaluate the patient’s needs and implement treatments in an organized fashion. Healthcare professionals with a background in conventional Medicine and those with backgrounds in traditional and alternative methods work together to provide appropriate therapies for optimal health.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between holistic and integrative Medicine?
Holistic Medicine is an approach to health care that considers a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Integrative Medicine combines conventional and alternative treatment methods that are evidence-based and scientifically proven.
What is the difference between a functional and integrative doctor?
A functional medicine doctor is a practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic health conditions. An integrative medicine doctor combines conventional medical treatments with complementary and alternative therapies to develop individualized treatment plans for patients.
What are some standard integrative therapies?
Standard integrative therapies include acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, herbal Medicine, yoga, and dietary supplements. In addition, some integrative medicine practitioners may utilize lifestyle modifications such as stress reduction techniques, mindfulness meditation, or breathing exercises.
Are there any risks associated with integrative Medicine?
Although most integrative therapies are safe and effective, it is essential to remember that they can still have side effects or risks. Therefore, discussing any potential concerns with your healthcare provider before taking part in integrative medicine is best.
Integrative Medicine can be a great way to help reduce stress levels and improve overall health and well-being. However, it is essential to research and talks to different practitioners about their qualifications and experience before deciding.
Finding a complementary and integrative healthcare provider that works for you can help you take control of your own health and experience the healing benefits of integrative Medicine.