Integrative medicine is a rapidly growing approach to healthcare in the United States. As defined by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” In this article, we will discuss exactly what this means.
Integrative Medicine = Conventional + Alternative Medicines
Conventional medicine is the term used for treating health conditions with synthetic drugs and surgery. Alternative medicine is defined as any therapy that is excluded by conventional medicine such as acupuncture and homeopathy. Alternative therapies are typically closer to nature and less expensive than conventional therapies. Alternative medicine practices used conjunctively with conventional medicines are known as complementary medicines (CAM). Integrative medicine makes use of all appropriate therapies (conventional and alternative) and is a healing-oriented medicine based on the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. This includes all lifestyle aspects. Integrative medicine not only improves health care for patients, it can also improve cost effectiveness of health care for both healthcare providers and patients.
The Integrative Medicine Approach
You, the patient, are the center of an integrative medicine treatment plan. By addressing the entire spectrum of your physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences affecting your health, your whole person (mind, body, and spirit) is treated. Utilizing this approach, you are an active, informed participant in the decision-making process concerning your health. Emphasizing prevention, early intervention, and health maintenance, integrative medicine uses all appropriate, evidence-based and personalized therapies to help you achieve optimal health and well-being. This not only encourages you to get well, but also to stay well.
In a typical healthcare setting, care is not always coordinated across healthcare providers. Integrative medicine coordinates care across all providers to ensure you, the patient, can obtain your wellness goals.
A Personalized Partnership
By listening to your wellness goals, communicating any health concerns found, and collaborating with you and all of your healthcare providers, integrative medicine specialists create a personalized plan for each individual patient. The goal is not only to get you healthy, but also to keep you healthy.
Treating the Whole Person
In conventional medicine, treatments are often directed only towards a specific disease. Integrative medicine interventions treat the illness as well as the whole person. There are many factors that influence health and illnesses and all of these are taken into consideration when using integrative medicine. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- Physical factors
- Mental Factors
- Emotional Factors
- Social Factors
- Spiritual Factors
- Stress Levels
- Dietary habits
- Social determinants
- Environmental influences
Integrative medicine follows the philosophy that all inside and outside factors affect your health and well-being. Your health is viewed as a vital state of all of the above factors and others your physician may deem necessary.
Avicenna Integrative Medicine brings you and the staff together in an energetic, cooperative, dedicated approach to wellness. Contact us today at (770) 977-9300 to begin your integrative medicine journey