Integrative Medicine at Crossroads
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What is Integrative Medicine?

 

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Medicine is the application of Conventional Medical Practices and Non-Conventional Medical Practices in the service of optimal health outcomes.

Conventional Medical Therapies typically involve the use of Prescription Medications/drugs and Surgery. It also includes Physical Therapies and Psychological Therapies.  Dietary Advice is often provided but typically under- emphasized.

Conventional Diagnostic Techniques include Laboratory and Imaging/Radiology. Invasive techniques such as gastrointestinal endoscopy and cardiac catheterization are both diagnostic and therapeutic.

Non-Conventional Therapies are widely varied. They include a general emphasis on the effort that the individual makes to improve their health. This includes dietary therapies, avoidance therapies, exercise therapies and psychological therapies, (mindfulness meditation). The Non-Conventional Therapies draw on traditional practices such as Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Massage, and Naturopathy. They also integrate techniques that have developed in parallel to Conventional Medicine such as Chiropractic Therapy, Electrical Stimulation Therapy, Exercise Therapy, Neural Therapy, and Nutrient Therapy.

Integrative Medicine is evolving continuously.

An example of integration that is now quite common in our area is the use of Acupuncture Therapy to help control the side effects that people with cancer experience from chemotherapy and radiation.

The increasing emphasis on the importance of dietary practice and exercise in the management of diabetes is another example. Integrative Medicine, attempts to implement these practices instead of merely giving lip service to their importance.

Integrative Medicine places an emphasis on the idea that we are unique in every way. Factors, which are considered in the development of a therapeutic regimen, include:

  1. Genetic variations that effect background metabolic processes, thus affecting our susceptibility to illness and our ability to regain our health.
  2. Total Toxic Load:  the toxins acquired in utero, in our home environment and in our work place can cause us to be ill or impair our ability to regain our health.
  3. The Psychological and Social events of our lives: Events that occur in our past may have an adverse effect on our health in the present. Stress related to family and work issues are considered in understanding a health problem and planning therapy.

In the end, best practice is what produces a desirable outcome for the individual seeking health care, their family and for the society at large. Integrative Medicine attempts to bring the best aspects of Conventional and Non-Conventional Medicine to achieve this end.

In the end, best practice is that which produces a desirable outcome for the person seeking health care and for the society at large. Integrative Medicine practices are highly individualized. There are hereditary based uniqueness factors related to lifestyle. Integrative Medicine attempts to bring the best aspects of Conventional and Non-Conventional Medicine to achieve this end.