What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented system that brings together the best medical and therapeutic practices from around the world to form a unified approach to health maintenance. The common element that is found amongst the varied therapies that form the basis of integrative medicine is the consistent focus on the body’s own innate mechanisms of healing.

The following are some principles of integrative medicine:

A partnership that exists between the patient and practitioner that approaches healing on all levels, including lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress, quality of sleep and rest, relationships, and work, as well as the appropriate use of dietary supplements, herbs, and other natural remedies.

The appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods is often the best way to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.

A view of the patient as a whole person that requires consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community, as well as body.

Doctors and patients should neither reject conventional medicine, nor embrace alternative medicine uncritically. Good medicine should be grounded in good science and be open to new paradigms.

It is better to use natural, inexpensive, low-tech and less invasive interventions whenever possible. Medicine must focus on promoting health and preventing illness as well as treating disease.

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