Integrative medicine is an evidence-based approach that aims to treat the entire individual – mind, body, and soul included. In this way, integrative medicine combines a variety of therapies in order to help complement an individual’s emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs. It uses a mix of conventional and complementary treatment methods to help the patient attain optimal health benefits.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine utilizes a holistic approach when it comes to dealing with chronic health issues that are rather difficult to treat using conventional medications and treatments. It uses a combination of traditional treatment plans with alternative therapies to provide full-fledged treatment for the body.
The treatment seeks to identify the underlying causes of the symptoms or conditions that you are facing. In doing so, it overlooks the complete body, mind, and spirit of the individual. The idea behind the treatment is that an individual’s health is affected by their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs.
As any integrative medicine doctor will tell you, there are a variety of ways to approach the method of integrative medicine itself since it relies on a combination of therapies as well as lifestyle changes.
During this treatment, the patient-doctor relationship is central because the healing process involves well-coordinated care. The following healthcare providers are involved in integrative medicine:
- Chiropractic doctors
- Holistic mind-body psychotherapists
- Massage therapists
- Yoga practitioners
- Tai chi practitioners
- Chinese Herbal therapists
In this way, integrative medicine basically “integrates” all the aspects of proper well-being to help the patient achieve optimal healing and health.
Benefits of Integrative Medicine
- Comprehensive Approach to Care
The integrative medicine methodology combines alternative medicine with conventional treatments. In this way, comprehensive treatment is provided to the patient. For example, if the patient is experiencing back pain and conventional methods of treatment have not been effective, the healthcare provider may suggest osteopathic manipulative therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, or even an anti-inflammatory diet.
- A Less Invasive, Natural Treatment
Another benefit of this treatment is that it is natural and less invasive. Prescription medications are imperative for patients’ treatment. However, these may not always be the best, as they may lead to serious side effects. On the other hand, invasive treatments such as surgery is not always an option because it can cause further health complications.
In this regard, integrative medications offer a feasible alternative by offering a mix of conventional and complementary medicine, reinforcing the body’s ability to heal itself. In this way, patients are also less dependent upon traditional medicine.
Here are some common types of integrative medicine treatments:
- Acupuncture, which basically uses thin needles in order to help with the flow, as well as the balance of the body’s energy.
- Chiropractic therapy, in which the doctors basically perform soft tissue adjustments to help manipulate the joints and the spine. It helps with ankle, wrist, pelvic, back, shoulder, and neck pain.
- Holistic psychotherapy, which uses a variety of therapies in order to help with anxiety, mood, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other symptoms. The therapies include treatments such as guided imagery, hypnosis, traditional talk therapy, hypnotherapy, and cognitive behavioral techniques.
- Culinary medicine uses a variety of evidence-based sciences of nutrition and food in order to help patients curate special diets, such as low-carb, vegan, and FODMAP, to help improve the overall wellness and being of the patient. Culinary medicine, in particular, can be helpful in dealing with ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Treats the Entire Individual
Traditional treatments usually focus on the treatment of a particular symptom or disease. However, the idea behind integrative medicine is to help treat the whole person, taking different factors of their health into consideration. From biological and environmental to behavioral and psychosocial, integrative medicine is an effective way to treat the individual.
- Deals with the Root Cause of the Disease
Integrative medicine directly addresses the root cause of the disease. For instance, it helps in improving the overall quality of life of the individual by targeting issues like hormonal imbalances, gut health, and inflammation, as well as evaluating the persistence of food insensitivities and vitamin deficiencies. Improvements in the patients’ mental health are also a key metric of integrative medicine.
- Utilizes the Benefits of Eastern Medicine
Another reason why integrative medicine is growing as a preferred method of treatment is because of the herbs and botanicals it uses for treating patients. Eastern medicine has been used for thousands of years for pharmaceutical purposes. Incorporating Eastern medicine in a patient’s treatment plan can prove to be highly beneficial.
- Focuses on Your Specific Needs
Integrative medicine is a customized treatment according to the patient’s needs. Centered around the optimal treatment of the patient, it helps in providing full-fledged treatment for the patient according to their specific requirements and hence, they are better able to recover.
This treatment can help with relief for a variety of medical and health conditions, some of which include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Menstrual issues
- Sleep issues
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases
- Acute and chronic pain
- Breathing disorders
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Mental and emotional health issues
- Menopausal symptoms
- Digestive disorders
- Cold or flu
Integrative medicine is a popular way of dealing with ailments and bringing relief to an individual. It uses a combination of therapies, as well as lifestyle changes, to help deal with the individual’s overall health. It focuses on all aspects of human health, including mind and body, using evidence-based approaches to help improve patient wellness. From diabetes and heart problems to mental health concerns, integrative medicine is a great way to embark on the journey of the healing process.