Integrated medicine is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. While it utilizes many alternative medicine and therapy options (also known as CAM medicine), it combines these with conventional care. Thanks to the influx of interest in recent years in natural healing, many doctors and hospitals have begun offering a variety of alternative methods alongside their own, conventional practices.
Usually, the main goal of conventional medicine is to treat the symptoms of a condition. With integrated medicine, however, the primary goal is to heal the patient and promote the maintenance of health through lifestyle changes, physical therapies, proper nutrition, and often the use of herbal medicine. Also, since many of the remedies and therapies used in integrated medicine are natural, they are perfect for use in pediatrics.
The premise of integrated medicine is based on the following:
- Relationships - The doctor-patient relationship is extremely important in this practice. It is important for patients to have a solid support structure, which is why practitioners build a strong relationship with their patients, as well as promote supportive relationships between friends and family.
- Environment - During the healing process, it is important for patients to be in a clean, safe, and supportive environment to ensure they respond to treatments as well as possible.
- Lifestyle - Integrative medicine takes a patient's lifestyle, diet, and nutrition into consideration when creating treatment plans, and necessary changes are recommended when needed, such as for overweight patients, those with diabetes, and people with special dietary needs.
- Detoxification - Proponents of this practice believe that in order to appropriately heal, patients must live in a detoxified environment and be able to build up the body's ability to fight off toxins to maintain health.
Integrated medicine is starting to make a big impact on the way many doctors and hospitals practice their craft and what kinds of services they offer. If you are interested in adding an alternative therapy to your current health plan, ask your doctor about how these remedies can work hand-in-hand with what you are currently working with.