All About Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine combines conventional and alternative, or complementary, medicine, and is often framed as focusing on emotional and even spiritual aspects of health, as well as on physical well-being. In addition to standard medical treatments, integrative medicine practitioners and programs generally incorporate evidence-based dietary changes, supplements, alternative medical techniques, and/or mind-body exercises, such as yoga and meditation, into their program.
A multi-disciplinary integrative medicine team often includes physicians, nutritionists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and professional class instructors. Integrative medical practitioners partner with the patient to provide individualized treatment and prevention of disease and disorders. Whenever feasible, less invasive and more natural interventions are used for healing and health promotion.
Integrative medicine is increasingly sought as patient sophistication grows, and a more holistic approach to care is touted by medical providers as well as consumers. Alternative therapies, like yoga, acupuncture, music therapy, and meditation, can make a difference when used alongside proven Western medications and treatment protocols. Integrative medicine shows promise in treating depression and psychiatric conditions. It can also help people grieve the loss of a loved one in healthy ways. Here are some of the most effective, research-backed alternative treatments and some practical ways to implement them alongside mainstream medicine.