Integrative Medicine - a phrase you will undoubtedly have been hearing more and more. But what exactly is it?
You would be forgiven for assuming it is simply another name for Alternative Medicine, but that isn’t actually the case. Integrative Medicine is a holistic approach to health care and treatment, which encompasses both conventional Western Medicine and Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
For a long time, the mainstream medical community have largely remained sceptical about the benefits of Alternative Therapies - such as Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Osteopathy, Herbal Medicine, Energy Therapies, to name but a few. Similarly, devoted Alternative Therapy advocates have often completely rejected Western approaches and methods. However, patients, doctors and mainstream health institutions alike, are increasingly looking to a more open-minded approach to treatment and are waking up to the benefits of a combination of therapies. Why limit yourself to only one, when there is potentially so much more to be gained from an integrated approach?
Here are five great reasons why we believe Integrative Medicine is well worth considering:
1) Get to the root of the matter!
Integrative Medicine takes a holistic approach, taking into account all factors relating to your health and wellbeing - body, mind, spirit and lifestyle. The aim is not simply to treat the symptoms, but to address the root causes of problems, in order to achieve long-lasting results. It is not a quick-fix solution, but will often involve simple and gradual lifestyle changes, to tackle underlying issues and promote optimal health and wellbeing!
2) Use what nature has given us!
Our bodies are incredible organisms with an innate ability to self-heal. Seeking to work in harmony with your body, Integrative Medicine utilises natural and less invasive treatments wherever possible, to facilitate and support those natural healing systems.
3) Prevention is better than cure!
As well as addressing immediate health concerns and root causes, Integrative Medicine also promotes lifestyle changes as preventative measures and to foster sustainable, long-term health and wellbeing. By adopting healthier habits and mindful practices you can feel better now and in the long-run!
4) Tailor-made healthcare!
Within Integrative Medicine, the patient and practitioner work together in close partnership. The patient is viewed very much as an individual, whose health is entirely unique to them and they are directly involved in all aspects of the healing process. Treatment is tailored to address your particular needs and circumstances and will often incorporate more than one therapy, to cover all bases and achieve all-round results!
5) Solutions where there are no answers!
There are times when mainstream medicine cannot provide a solution to certain problems or conditions. At these times, Integrative Medicine can offer a fresh perspective and a different approach. This can be particularly helpful for people with chronic conditions and a welcome change of pace when other treatments have proved unsuccessful. By focusing on the person as a whole and applying a combination of therapies, Integrative Medicine can achieve a tangible improvement in symptoms and quality of life!
More and more people are turning to Integrative Medicine for their personal health care needs. The solutions it can offer are as individual as you and harness the benefits of Alternative Therapies and Western Medicine together.
We are complex creatures, so it makes sense that we should seek to embrace a diverse approach to health and wellbeing. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not give it a go? The results may prove to be even better than you expect, but you’ll never know unless you open your mind to the possibility!
By Thrivhers Contributing Editor: Gemma Coldwell
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