You've probably heard of integrative medicine, but what exactly is it? Integrative medicine is the place where conventional medicine and alternative medicine meet. Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person, not just the symptoms of a disease. This approach leads to better health and wellness overall. By taking into account all aspects of a person's life, such as lifestyle, diet, and stress levels, integrative medicine can provide more comprehensive care. Here's what you need to know.
Integrative medicine is often used in conjunction with conventional medicine. For example, if you have cancer, you will likely receive both conventional treatment (such as chemotherapy) and integrative therapies (such as acupuncture or relaxation techniques). By combining these approaches, you can get the best of both worlds: the most effective medical treatment available and complementary therapies that can help relieve side effects and improve your overall well-being.
Benefits of Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine is supported at hospitals around the country and on a national level by the National Institutes of Health, where experts "conduct and support research ... about complementary health products and practices." There are many benefits of integrative medicine, including:
- Improved overall health and well-being
- Reduced side effects from medical treatment
- Greater attention to your individual needs, preferences, and goals
Additionally, integrative medicine provides a more holistic approach to healthcare that considers all aspects of you as a person, including your lifestyle, diet, religious beliefs, emotions, and stress levels.
Examples of Integrative Medicine
Many different therapies are used in conjunction with integrative medicine, including:
- Meditation and yoga
- Herbal remedies and other alternative treatments
- Nutritional counseling
- Counseling and psychotherapy
- Art and music therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
It's important to note that integrative medicine is not an all-or-nothing approach. You don't need to commit to any one form of treatment in order to reap the benefits of integrative medicine. Instead, you can work with your doctor to determine which combination of treatments works best for you.
Integrative medicine may be right for you if you're looking for comprehensive care that focuses on your entire well-being, not just your symptoms. This approach takes into account all aspects of your life to provide you with the best possible care. So if you're interested in exploring all your treatment options, ask your doctor about integrative medicine. Together you can discuss your options and decide on the best course of action for you. With integrative medicine, you have the opportunity to take an active role in your own healthcare and achieve better results than you ever thought possible.
For more information, reach out to an integrative medicine clinic near you.