Integrative Medicine is a medical practice that provides treatment for various conditions from multiple approaches. One of the tenets of integrative medicine is that health is affected by the physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental realms.
Because integrative medicine accounts for factors outside of abnormal physical processes to diagnose and treat disease, it is considered both a short and long-term solution to health problems.
What are the principles of integrative medicine?
The practice of integrative medicine is based on principles that guide practitioners toward comprehensive diagnoses and treatments.
- Both patient and practitioner work equally toward total health
- All health-influencing factors must be considered when approaching treatment
- Practitioners should work toward triggering the innate healing response of the body
- Natural, non-invasive techniques are preferable
- The science of integrative medicine should never stop evolving
- Illness prevention and promotion of a healthy lifestyle are vital
- Every patient must be treated as an individual with unique physiology and needs
The principles of integrative medicine are based on the fact that multiple instances of an illness that occur due to the same health problem cannot always be treated in the same way.
Each human body reacts differently when introduced to chemicals, herbs, or new environments. Without considering all of the possible triggers of a disease, medical professionals are unable to create exhaustive solutions to chronic issues.
What are some of the approaches of integrative medicine?
In combination with modern medicine, integrative medicine also employs traditional medicinal approaches and alternative treatment options such as:
Acupuncture is a practice that involves pushing thin needles through the skin and other tissues to relieve pain and shift the body’s chemistry. Results are based not only on physical relief, but can aid in alleviating mental and emotional trauma as well. It began in ancient China, but is now practiced and revered in the U.S. as a natural approach to healing.
Practitioners of homeopathy treat disease by administering small doses of natural substances that, when taken by healthy individuals, produce disease-like symptoms. It is applied to long-term diseases, allergies, arthritis, or irritable bowel syndrome to help relieve and possibly prevent the diseases from recurring.
Chiropractic care focuses on the spine and joint manipulation as they relate to overall bodily health. Chiropractic professionals believe that because so many nerves, muscles, and organs live in or near the spine, spinal health is directly related to conditions that cause discomfort and the symptoms of disease.
As a part of whole-body health, the dietary habits of patients are believed to be directly related to the occurrence of disease according to integrative medicine. Poor dietary choices cause the body to exert extra effort when attempting to heal itself. Without the proper fuel, the body cannot undergo a complete healing process.
Orthotics are prescription-based aids for neuromuscular and musculoskeletal health improvement. They support areas that are weakened or genetically deficient and require additional help from orthotics to function as intended. Patients who use orthotics may notice symptoms of other physiological problems alleviate over time.
Why should I trust an alternative approach?
Integrative medicine is a supplement to modern healthcare, it is not a replacement for modern medicine. The integrative system is designed to work in sync with modern medicine and healthcare to treat and prevent disease. Total body health is the goal, and comprehensive treatment is the approach.