WHAT IS INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE?
According to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health, the use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Integrative Medicine is not a fad, since 1993, research has shown that more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children—use health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine.
Integrative Medicine is an evolving term, basically it’s how we deliver care at FRESH Med, but you may be wondering exactly what it means.
Integrative Medicine is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It has a far larger meaning and mission in that it calls for restoration of the focus of medicine on health and healing, emphasizes the centrality of the doctor-patient relationship. In addition to providing the best conventional care, integrative medicine focuses on preventive maintenance of health by attention to all relative components of lifestyle, including diet, exercise, stress management and emotional well being. It insists on patients being active participants in their health care as well as physicians viewing patients as whole persons – minds, community members, and spiritual beings as well as physical bodies. Finally, it asks physicians to serve as guides, role models, and mentors, as well as dispensers of therapeutic aids.
THE PRINCIPLES OF INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE:
- A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
- Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body
- A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
- Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
- Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
- Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
- Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
- Ralph Snyderman, M.D. and Andrew T. Weil, M.D
At FRESH Med, Integrative Health, or Integrative Medicine involves combining or weaving conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated evidenced based way. In other words, integrative medicine “picks” the safest and highest scientifically validated therapies from both conventional and complementary and alternative medical systems. In addition, we always remain mindful and focused on treating you as an individual, not the disease. This can only be via a strong patient/practitioner relationship also means taking more time to understand you and your needs. If you are tired of spending your time, money and life going through the cycle of diagnosis and drugs without getting any better, you need a FRESH approach to health.