What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative, or Integrated Medicine, is a system of healthcare that incorporates a combination of traditional knowledge, compassion, humanity, wisdom, spirituality, universal laws, complementary and Alternative (CAM) healing methods, allopathic medicine, modern science, technical knowledge 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 individual health status in order to provide the best possible Integrative treatment and care.
Unfortunately, this system can be difficult to implement let alone master.
Traditional methods are not always supported by allopathic medical practitioners and/or modern science, which are often due to a lack of understanding of the individual therapies, and their interaction with allopathic medicine. As a result unaware conservative practitioners often dismiss these methods. There is however a possibility for both allopathic mainstream and Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) 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 and, most important, always keep the patients best interest at heart.