When people hear the word medicine, we usually think about doctors, hospitals, surgeries, and the prescription medicines we need to take in order to get well. We rarely think about the different schools of thought behind the medical practice being done to us or our loved one in order to diagnose, cure or treat our existing medical conditions or health concerns. One such approach to medicine is known as Integrative Medicine.
But kind of strategy is this for health and healing and what are its advantages and benefits to patients? In this article, we look at what integrative medicine is and its possible advantages or benefits. Read on to find out more!
Integrative Medicine: A General Overview
With the current state of medicine in the United States (US), it is no wonder that people are getting frustrated and disappointed. Most Americans feel like the current strategy of allopathic medicine is simply unable to address the growing demand for better medical and health care practices.
As the turn of the century slowly moves forward, the one size fits all, expensive, and the traditional way of having patients treated is no longer acceptable. Newer and scientifically-based approaches that handle health conditions in unique and special ways tailored to meet the needs of individual patients seems to be the solution.
This is because modern patients are now more conscious and aware of what they need and want for their health and these patients want to be more hands-on in terms of their journey to better health. On the other hand, medical professionals are now working towards partnership, self-care, health education, and prevention (rather than cure) instead of the traditional models of curative medicine. This is where integrative medicine comes into play. But what is integrative medicine and how is it going to help patients with their health concerns?
Simply put, integrative medicine is an approach to medicine that is holistic and is focused on combining alternative, safe, and proven treatments with old-age wisdom, along with the modern successes in the field of medicine. This combination of powerful variables and factors can be the revolutionary awakening modern medicine is about to encounter.
What are some of the Possible benefits of Integrative Medicine?
Enumerated below are some of the possible benefits and advantages of integrative medicine:
Focuses more on prevention
The saying an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure comes into play here as integrative medicine focuses more on the preventive rather than the curative. Compared to traditional medicine, integrative medicine focuses on having illnesses prevented by the individual rather waiting for the disease to develop and adversely affect the patient.
In addition, integrative medicine also puts emphasis on strengthening the body’s immune system and immune response to prepare for possible attacks from illnesses and diseases. This is achieved through in-depth education of patients, mind-body medicine, the use of enhancements to the lifestyle, and exploiting the body’s natural healing process.
Utilizes an approach that is more holistic
A primary healthcare professional that approaches medical conditions or illnesses using integrative medicine will always focus on the person as a whole compared to just segregated organs with their own specific organ-related issues and problem.
By looking at all of the factors that may be contributing to the health of the patient or the individual, the integrative medicine practitioner can gain a bird’s eye view or in-depth insight into what is causing the problem and how to address the said problem using the holistic information gathered. This makes integrative medicine much more effective in treating the overall health issues of an individual.
Relies on a model that is built on collaboration and strong relationships
Integrative medicine believes in collaboration between the patient and physician as it looks at physician-patient relationships in a totally different (but positive) way. For integrative medicine, a relationship built on collaboration, honesty, and transparency between the patient and the doctor based on mutual respect and trust, is something to aspire to and greatly encouraged for medical care in the modern times. This type of sensation can be felt and found in almost any office of an integrative medical practitioner.
Focuses on care that is personalized
As stated earlier, a one size fits all approach is no longer that effective when it comes to addressing the modern health issues of individuals at present. There is now a call for what is known as individual health and it entails having the integrative medicine practitioner or doctor uncover all the possible factors affecting the wellbeing of his or her patient be it emotional, psychological, or physical. Integrative medicine practitioners also commit to solving problems together with the patient as each problem is recognized as unique and that cookie-cutter solutions just won’t cut it.
Uses treatments that are complementary and conventional and are backed by scientific evidence
By mixing and combining the best of what traditional and modern medicine can offer with alternative medicine strategies, patients can get the care that can be described as all-encompassing, a better way of ensuring good overall health, and a higher level of understanding of how disease management works.
Goes beyond tablets and pills for a cure
Current conventional medical treatments will often default to prescription writing and then sending the sick individual away to treat their illness with the prescribed medicine. The sad fact is that a lot of patients and individuals are already fed up with taking too many prescription drugs. As such, patients who want to try something new out can turn to integrative medicine for other treatment options.
This means that the problem is not only addressed once it has become apparent or once the illness has already spread to the other parts of the body but it will form part of the patient’s routine and goal to optimize his or her own level of health all throughout his or her lifespan.