What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is a form of medical therapy which combines practices and treatment from alternative medicine with conventional medicine. Integrative medicine takes into account the whole person, which encompasses all aspects of lifestyle to include physical, psychological, social, religious, and ecological influences that impact an individual's health.

Key points with Integrative medicine include:


  • 1.) The provider and patient are partners in the treatment and healing process.

  • 2.) Providers utilize healing as well as alternative sciences to assist the body’s inherent healing abilities.

  • 3.) Natural interventions are used over more invasive techniques whenever possible.

  • 4.) Prevention of illness and health advancement are highly emphasized and are always the first line of defense.


Integrative medicine goes outside the treatment of signs and symptoms to address the root cause of an illness, and personalizes care uniquely for each patient. Patients have been fed up with being treated symptomatically, whereas the origin of their disease remains unaffected. Integrative providers support the individual to explore every part of their daily life which might be negatively affecting their health. An integrative provider digs to discover the origin of the health problem and generates a treatment program which treats the root causes of the problem. By doing this, a patient’s immediate health needs as well as long-term complex relationships between biological, behavioral, psychosocial and environmental influences are taken into account. This then enables the provider to address and remedy the patients ailments by tailoring the best fit custom solution for the patient.

An area which integrative medicine has a huge impact is cardiology. Cardiac diseases are directly responsible for the highest deaths worldwide. Despite progress in drugs, technology, and medical procedures, the incidence of

Cardiovascular disease and its related modifiable risk factors are still growing. An integrated approach carried by an integrative cardiologist encourages behavioral modification while maximizing lifestyle options. This has been noted to be vital in reversing the increasing incidence of cardiovascular illness. Coronary artery disease and its principal risk factors of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, are all modifiable ailments that can be reversed. This can be done with proper integrative medical techniques, the biggest of which is lifestyle modification.


Conclusion

Unlike the traditional health care approach, integrative medicine focuses on “avoidance” to encourage optimum health before illness ever develops. Integrative medicine focuses on strengthening the human body's inherent capacity to heal itself. This is done by using a combination of factors to include lifestyle enhancements, alternative techniques, supplements (with an emphasis on anti-inflammation), and comprehensive individualized instruction.