What is Integrative Medicine?
A marriage of conventional Western medicine with other healing modalities, including complementary and alternative medicine, integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor uncritically embraces alternative therapies. Rather, integrative medicine can be described as a practice that tailors to individual patients recommendations from the best and scientifically supported therapies of both systems.
Defining principles of integrative medicine:
- Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
- All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration; including mind, spirit, and community as well as the body.
- Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body’s innate healing response.
- Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
- Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
- Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
- Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
- Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.