Integrative or Integrated Medicine is a system of medicine is that incorporates a combinations of traditional knowledge, wisdom, alternative methods, allopathic medicine, modern science and technology to enable us to understand patients and their illnesses comprehensively and holistically. The aim of this system and rationale is to aid the clinician to obtain a better overall understanding of patient’s health status in order to provide the best possible Integrative treatment and care.
Unfortunately this system can be difficult to implement let alone master, as traditional methods are not always supported by allopathic medical practitioners and /or modern science. This is often due to lack of understanding and of the individual therapies and their interaction with allopathic medicine therefore they are often dismissed by unaware conservative practitioners.
There is however a possibility for both (allopathic and traditional medicine to coexist and work together in order to provide the best possible treatments and prognosis for our patients… For this to happen there must be acceptance and understanding by the physician of how each individual modality fits into an integrative treatment. He or she must have the necessary training or have an awareness of the positives and the limitations of each individual healing system. The physician must also respect each individual modality and be able to explain to the patient the pros and cons of each therapy based on research and their own individual clinical practice.
The term Integrative Medicine was coined due to the re-emergence of the complementary or alternative medicine to describe a practice of combining both orthodox medical practices and complementary medicine for healthcare; I guess you could say it is applying the best of both worlds in order to give the best possible treatment for the patient at hand. Even though the term Integrative Medicine seems relatively new, the practice and concept of Integrative Medicine dates back to early healers such as the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates. and BJ Palmer, the father of Chiropractic who incorporated integrative thinking and medicine in the practices . Integration occurred to provide the best possible healthcare for their patients. I guess you could say this is a sign of a true healer, one who continues in search to better their practices in order to help their patients with the most appropriate non invasive, safest treatment possible.
An Integrative Medicine Practitioner is a lateral thinker and always has best possible treatment protocols in mind for their patients. Often the best of Orthodox and Complementary medicine is incorporated whether it be by cross referral, or by direct application. Usually this kind of Practitioner has been exposed to many modalities and understands the benefits, application and limitations of these practices.