Integrative medicine integrates conventional healthcare approaches (like medication and psychotherapy) with complementary therapies like acupuncture and yoga. It also emphasizes relationships between patients and their healthcare providers as equal partners in the healing process.
It addresses the whole person, including their emotional and spiritual well-being. By treating the root causes of symptoms and diseases, integrative medicine can improve quality of life, boost immune system, reduce toxic exposures and more.
What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine involves well-coordinated care that brings together conventional healthcare approaches, like medication and psychotherapy, with complementary therapies, such as yoga or acupuncture. It also focuses on the relationships between you and your providers, treating you as an equal partner in your healing process.
Conventional medicine is the treatment of disease with medications and surgery. Alternative medicine is a broad term that includes practices that are not typically considered part of mainstream medical treatments, such as acupuncture, herbs, and homeopathy.
The integrative medicine approach combines traditional therapies with less-conventional treatments that are supported by scientific research. It is also designed to encourage patients to adopt healthy behaviors and skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. It is important for patients to understand what integrative medicine can and cannot do, and to be honest about their expectations with their physicians. This fosters trust and increases the likelihood of successful referrals. Ideally, integrative medicine should be used along with regular care from your primary care physician and specialists.
How does it work?
The approach aims to find the root cause of symptoms and diseases, and addresses multiple factors such as diet, sleep, exercise, hormones and emotional well-being. It promotes healthy living and seeks to maximize the body’s natural built-in capacity for healing.
Integrative medicine pairs traditional medical treatments with complementary remedies such as acupuncture, massage, herbs and supplements. These complementary therapies can be used as a complement to conventional treatment and may help with pain management, anxiety, fatigue, depression and more.
Integrative medicine has proven to be effective in a variety of conditions and can enhance traditional treatment options. However, implementation is a challenge within the current healthcare system due to cultural and financial barriers. One way to overcome these obstacles is through education. Online courses and workshops for physicians have been shown to be an effective way to introduce integrative medicine to the medical community. This can lead to more doctors referring patients for integrative medicine.
What are the benefits?
A holistic medicine approach has been gaining popularity as medical researchers discover ways in which physical and emotional health are connected. It treats the entire person, not just the symptoms, and looks at the underlying causes of the issue. Common ailments known to benefit from this type of treatment include anxiety, autoimmune disorders, allergies, depression and other mood disorders, gastrointestinal problems, focus and attention disorders, chronic fatigue, headaches and migraines, and hormone imbalance.
In addition to providing treatment options that can help improve the overall quality of a patient’s life, integrative medicine practitioners can also provide preventative care services. These can reduce doctor visits, illness frequency, and disease risk by encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and self-care practices.
What are the risks?
It is important to remember that integrative medicine is not a replacement for regular medical care from your primary care physician and specialists. Always talk to your doctors about complementary therapies and be sure to mention any supplements or natural remedies you are taking. You should also let your doctor know if you experience any unusual or severe side effects from these treatments.
Conventional medicine is the practice of treating symptoms and diseases using medications, surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy. It is sometimes referred to as biomedicine, Western, mainstream, or orthodox medicine. Conventional practitioners may also use CAM practices to treat patients.
Integrative medicine is a type of medical care that incorporates both conventional and CAM treatment techniques. It aims to integrate a patient’s needs, preferences, and goals into a comprehensive treatment plan. It is based on the idea that the body is capable of healing itself when given the right conditions. For example, integrative medicine practitioners might recommend meditation to help lower stress levels.integrative medicine austin