Integrative Medicine- a better treatment for patients

Integrative medicine is not a new concept; it exists from ages across many disciplines. It is a combination of both conventional and alternative approaches to address biological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of health and illness based on individual needs and condition.
It is very disappointing about the present healthcare system, where the doctors rush to leave and overwhelm and patients are unattended and left to die. But the integrative medicine seems to promise more time, attention and efforts in preventing diseases rather than waiting to treat the diseases after manifestation.

Integrative Medicine

A broad range of healing philosophies, approaches and therapies that western/conventional medicine does not commonly use, accept, study, understand or make it available are considered as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by National Institutes of Health, USA. Various CAM therapies can be used alone, as an alternative to, or in combination with western therapies to treat various medical conditions and well-being.

Treating a damaged organ can only provide temporary relief and a false sense of security, but if focused on prevention and development of healthy behavior and skills for effective self care, may be helpful to patients throughout their lives.

Care can be integrative regardless of the modalities utilized, if defining principles are applied. Defining principles of integrative medicine are as follows:

  • Patients and practitioners are partners in healing process.
  • Factors such as body, mind, spirit and community are considered as the factors influencing the health, wellness and disease.
  • All healing sciences are used by the providers to facilitate body’s innate healing response.
  • If possible, natural and low persistent interventions are used.
  • Using evidence based approach for a best integrated therapy for patient from available source of information.
  • Concept of health promotion and prevention of illness are paramount’s along with the treatment.
  • Individuals unique conditions, needs and circumstances can be addressed better by personalized care.
  • Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

Hence, always a good care and a weak medicine are better than a poor care and a strong medicine.

Journal of Integrative Medicine & Therapy

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