An Explanation of Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine is an approach to healthcare that aims to go beyond the curing of symptoms. Practitioners of this form of therapy believe that their role is to restore patients to the state of health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, according to the WHO health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Definition of Integrative Medicine
Also known as integral medicine in Europe, integrative medicine consists of using various practices and treatments used in different specializations with the purpose of restoring the patient’s full health and wellbeing.
In doing so, the practitioners take into consideration every inner and exterior influence on the patient, including:
- Environmental factors
- Mental and spiritual health
- Social circumstances
- Physical state of health.
Is Integrative Medicine the Same as Functional Medicine?
Although they have many things in common, integrative medicine and functional medicine have different approaches to healthcare. While functional medicine uses a system-based approach that aims to identify and cure the root cause of the disease, integrative medicine attempts to treat the whole person by adapting their lifestyle and habits.
Thus, integrative medicine is generally preferred by patients frustrated by the lack of results obtained with conventional medicine. They are looking for ways to improve their whole life, in every aspect and achieving mental and physical health in this manner.
Principles of Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine Highlands Ranch practitioners rely on eight core principles in their attempt to heal patients. These are:
- The healing process is achieved through a partnership between practitioner and patient
- the practitioner will take into account all the factors that influence the patient’s health, wellness and illness
- The approach of integrative medicine is to use both conventional and alternative therapies and methods
- The practitioner should choose the least invasive and most natural interventions
- The practitioner must not reject conventional medicine nor embrace alternative therapies indiscriminately
- Medicine is based on science, thus the practitioner must always be inquisitive and open to new paradigms
- The practitioner must aim not only to treat the patient, but also promote health and prevention of illness
- The practitioner must be an example of practicing what they preach.
What Kind of Therapies Are Used in Integrative Medicine?
As shown in the principles above, integrative medicine practitioners try to find natural remedies and treatments that are as little invasive as possible to the patient’s body. Some of these therapies include:
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Massage therapy
- Music therapy.
Who Benefits from Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is most helpful for people who wish to change their entire lifestyle to a healthier one as a way of curing and preventing illnesses. At the same time, given the low level of risks posed by integrative medicine therapies, they can be a good choice for people with low pain tolerance and fear of invasive procedures.
Also, conventional medicine practitioners do not disapprove of integrative medicine treatments and see them as a helpful addition to standard medical treatments.