With the evolvement of modern healthcare with the aim of always striving to find the best and most efficient solutions to restore health to patients, modern medicine is now more readily incorporation integrative medicine into standardised approaches to treatment.
What is Integrative Medicine?
It has been concluded by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, that integrative medicine differed from what is known as Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Many complementary and alternative medical practices are still lacking in scientific evidence as to their workings and overall benefits for the patient. Therefore, they are not readily accepted on the whole within modern day healthcare. Source: http://exploreim.ucla.edu/health-care/east-meets-west-how-integrative-medicine-is-changing-health-care/
However, integrative medicine points extracting those aspects of complementary therapies that have scientifically been proven to have a unique and beneficial effect on health. Therefore, integrating the best of these techniques into modern day healthcare can prove useful in achieving the primary objective of health restoration for the patient.
How Is Integrative Medicine Defined?
A primary defining factor of integrative medicine is the inclusion of the patient as a whole. That is, to take into consideration the individual’s physical, mental and ‘spiritual’ aspects in order to provide a more holistic approach. While this has been and continues to be a primary consideration for complementary therapies such as acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine and herbalism, this is a relatively new concern for Western or allopathic medicine, which has traditionally look solely at the physical workings of health alone. For example, acupuncture treatment is now being used as a complimentary to cancer care. This is a quantum step forward in healthcare and shows a great insight into what is to come for the evolvement of healthcare.
With this integrative approach, the physician now also will take a closer look at lifestyle factors that may be impacting upon the health of an individual as well as psychological stresses that may be placed upon a person in the modern day era.
Furthermore, integrative medicine looks to form a ‘partnership’ between the patient and practitioner in the way that both are responsible and take an active role in the healing process, rather than the responsibility lying solely with the physician.
This approach cam help to bring about a multitude of benefits in that the patient will be more pro-active in their recovery and take a closer look at their health and well-being to see where the causative factors may be coming from that may otherwise be prevented through various lifestyle changes.
With an increased collective mindset to embrace the incorporation or integrative medicine into traditional health care, many doctors and nurses are now training in various alternative traditions to provide this level of healthcare.
With the growing popularity of alternative therapies such as acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy and chiropractic treatment, it is clear that an evolution or a marriage of alternative and traditional methods have been on the horizon for several years. Now, as we are moving headstrong into the 21st century, we are now more clearly seeing those changes, which are more readily being offered to the public.
These are truly encouraging developments and can only stand to serve both the public and the evolvement of modern medicine for the better.