Integrative medicine refers to a form of treatment that focuses on the whole individual: physical body, mind, spirit, and emotions in the quest for overall health and wellness. Integrative medical doctors believe that a person can achieve optimal health and wellness through attaining a good balance in life. They believe that the body is made up of different parts that depend on each other. Therefore, if a part of the body is not well, then the whole body is affected. For instance, if one has physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, it impacts the individual’s overall health.
Integrative wellness clinics such as Gaon Wellness specializes in different forms of treatment to treat a patient. They may include conventional medication to alternative medical therapies. For instance, when a patient suffering from migraines visits a Integrative practitioner, instead of using conventional medicine to treat the patient, the Integrative doctor will examine all the potential factors that may cause the migraines. These factors may include other health conditions, stress and personal problems, diet and eating habits. The doctor may initiate a treatment plan that involves conventional drugs to relieve the symptoms and lifestyle or spiritual practices to prevent the migraines from recurring.
Types of treatments involved in Integrative medicine
There are many types of Integrative medicine that differ from a clinic to another, and new Integrative healing practices continue to emerge. Depending on the Integrative wellness practitioner’s specialization, Integrative treatment may include:
- Complementary therapies such as massage therapy, naturopathy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, homeopathy, physiotherapy, to mention a few.
- Western medications, surgery, and other forms of conventional medicine.
- Patient training on self-care and lifestyle practices to promote wellness, including proper diet and nutrition, exercise, psychotherapy, spiritual and relationship counseling.
- Energy therapies such as ultrasonic, thermal, electromagnetic, and subtle energy. For example, Reiki which contributes to some form of energy healing.
- Biologically based therapies such as the use of herbal medicines and other plant materials such as aromatherapy.
- Mind-body interventions including psychological, behavioral, social, and spiritual practices or approaches to wellness.
Principles of Integrative medicine
Integrative medicine and wellness practitioners have a philosophical belief that an individual controls their health and wellbeing. That ultimately, unconditional love and support are the most powerful contributing factors to healing. Some principles of Integrative medicine and Treatment Include:
- An individual has inborn healing abilities.
- Treatment is not only about alleviating the symptoms of a health condition but fixing the cause of the disease to prevent it from recurring.
- A patient is an individual, not a disease.
- Healing takes a Integrative approach that involves the doctor and the patient and uses various healthcare practices to address all aspects of the patient’s life.
How can Integrative medicine contribute to your health and wellness?
You can use Integrative medicine and practices as a complementary approach to conventional treatment and an integrative healthcare approach. For instance, a cancer patient can undergo massage therapy while undergoing chemotherapy to help the body recuperate quickly and better. However, it is not suitable for the patient to abandon conventional drugs for cancer treatment.
Integrative medicine practitioners believe in integrative healthcare whereby treatment involves conventional medicine and Integrative healing practices. They examine all the lifestyle factors and medical factors that may contribute to your illness to provide Integrative treatment.