Integrative Medicine is patient-centered, whole-person care that embraces the body’s self-healing capacity and emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention (Boon 2004). It combines evidence-based conventional medical treatment with complementary medicine (CM) modalities.
It takes into account all factors that influence your overall well-being: biological, behavioral, psychosocial and environmental. It helps you regain control of your health by identifying the root cause of your illness and teaches you to manage your symptoms with the help of natural treatments like meditation, yoga, herbal remedies, massage therapy or animal-assisted therapy. It also helps you overcome emotional, physical and spiritual distress associated with your illness by addressing hormonal imbalances, improving your diet, removing chemical toxins from your environment and reducing stress.
Harmony in Health: Exploring the Core Principles of Integrative Medicine
Patients who received IM reported less distress and improved quality of life, as well as lower costs because of fewer future hospital admissions. However, it is important to note that some IM techniques such as acupuncture and mind-body therapies are not covered by health insurance.
When integrative medicine practitioners provide honest and realistic counseling, they can earn the trust of physicians. This enables them to educate doctors on potential IM options available, which would likely lead to better patient outcomes and increased accessibility.