WHAT IS INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE?
IOM Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public
In a 2009 report for the IOM Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public, Maizes, Rakel and Neiman stated: “Integrative medicine has emerged as a potential solution to the American health care crisis. It provides care that is patient-centered, healing oriented, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship, and uses therapeutic approaches originating from conventional and alternative medicine. Initially driven by consumer demand, the attention integrative medicine places on understanding whole persons and assisting with lifestyle change is now being recognized as a strategy to address the epidemic of chronic diseases bankrupting our economy.”
What Patients Need to Know about Choosing Alternative Medicine
In an article updated September 28 2012, by Trisha Torrey, What Patients Need to Know about Choosing Alternative Medicine, Complementary and alternative medicine, also called CAM, is enjoying a surge of popularity in the United States. Integrative medicine is developing as a new form of medical practice.
The standard form of health and medical care practiced in the United States is conventional medicine, also called "Western" medicine (its practice began in the Western Hemisphere) or allopathic medicine. When you go to a doctor who is an M.D. or a D.O., she will likely diagnose you and treat you based on the medical knowledge and experience she has gained through conventional education or practice, using drugs, surgeries or standard physical therapies.
CAM therapies take a different approach. Most are founded in Chinese medicine, also called Eastern medicine (emanating from the Eastern hemisphere). They rely on herbs and other "natural" substances (we'll explore that word "natural" below), orienting the human mind or physical manipulation to achieve health and wellness.
Integrative medicine is a combination approach that takes complementary, alternative and conventional medicine into consideration. It's the point at which East meets West for wellness, and where the combination can allay the disagreement.