Integrative Medicine is a patient-centered approach that allows for a more comprehensive treatment plan based on the individual’s unique needs and preferences. It incorporates traditional methods like medications, surgery and physical therapy along with less conventional techniques such as acupuncture, reiki and mindfulness practice to address both your body’s physical health and your mental and emotional wellness.
What is an example of integrative medicine?
While the word “integrative” may have negative connotations, it is simply an approach that combines various methodologies of care to more closely align with your needs and goals. It provides the practitioner and patient with a more individualized approach to care, resulting in better outcomes for your overall health and wellness.
In fact, integrative practices have been shown to be effective in treating chronic conditions when used alongside the patient’s primary care physician. It also reduces the need for prescription medication and improves overall quality of life.
Practitioners of integrative healthcare come from a variety of disciplines, including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, naturopaths and osteopathic physicians. Many also have additional training in alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage.
Research has found that patients in integrated clinics are more satisfied with their care and experience fewer health-related problems compared to those visiting traditional practices. However, barriers to implementation are still present. One of these is the lack of caregiver knowledge about integrative options, which can be addressed by educational programs and a shift in culture in healthcare.