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A guide to evidence-based integrative and complementary medicine is an informative guide to complementary therapies available for a range of common and prevalent health conditions. Get access to latest book releases and receive exclusive discount coupons by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, The Shelf. A marriage of conventional Western medicine with other healing modalities, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), integrative medicine (IM) neither rejects conventional medicine nor uncritically embraces alternative therapies. When it comes to improving health care in the United States, one fact seems fairly undisputed: “What we have now is a ‘sick care’ system that is reactive to problems,” says Dr. Indeed, in recent years, it has been acknowledged by health care leaders, politicians, and socioeconomic analysts alike that one major flaw of the U.S. All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration; including mind, spirit, and community as well as the body. Appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods facilitates the body’s innate healing response.
Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically. Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.
An integrative medicine (IM) practitioner is a healthcare professional who embraces and practices the principles of integrative medicine.
However, an IM doctor is not necessarily the same as an osteopathic or naturopathic doctor, although the three share several similarities.
Yet integrative medicine is much more than just a system endowed with a wider variety of tools that are generally available to conventional practitioners. It’s no surprise that as a practice driven initially by consumer demand, integrative medicine continues to grow in popularity, both in its users and in its practitioners. At the national level, the field has made prominent strides with The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), which was signed into law in April 2010, and is said to provide opportunities for integrative health care. Click here to view the original article published in the Winter 2011 issue of Total Wellness Magazine. Treating the Health Care Crisis: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for the Affordable Care Act This summary by Dr. A Review of Cost-Effectiveness of Complementary and Integrative MedicineA review published by the British Medical Journal Open uncovers the cost effectiveness of complementary and integrative medical (CIM) approaches in more than two dozen high-quality studies.
General wellness, including self-care tips, prevention methods, healthy lifestyle choices, and other latest recommendations. Written by a range of complementary medicine practitioners from Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Chinese Medicine and Physiotherapists to give a comprehensive and integrative guide to complementary medicine in Australia. Rather, IM can be described as a practice that "cherry picks" the best and scientifically supported therapies of both systems.
Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, and the world’s leading proponent of integrative medicine, insists that integrative medicine, despite popular misconception, is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).


The ultimate goal: to get the patient better, through the use of safe, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible. Weil, “integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle.
An integrative medicine practitioner is often a doctor with a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree, or nurse practitioner who emphasizes a whole-person approach and patient-centered care, and utilizes both conventional medicine and nonconventional medicine to optimize the patient’s health and healing process.
Unlike MDs, while a DO also receives conventional medical training, he or she receives additional instruction on osteopathic manipulative medicine, which involves a wide variety of techniques applied to the musculoskeletal system. Roberta Lee, MD, Vice Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, an IM practitioner, like a conventional MD, has pharmaceutical and surgery-based interventions at his or her disposal; these options, however, will be weighed in the context of the other therapeutic choices, including CAM-based therapies, and together these interventions are prioritized according to the level of benefit, risk, potential toxicity, and cost. Healing therapies include techniques used in traditional medical systems (such as traditional Chinese medicine), manual medicine (osteopathy, massage), lifestyle changes (nutrition, exercise), and mind-body therapies (yoga, Tai Chi). Lee, is just as much about “a time for the practitioner to get to the know the patient as it is about understanding the disease.” Dr. CAM itself has become increasingly popular in recent years: a report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2005 estimated that total annual visits to CAM providers exceed visits to primary-care physicians.
UCLA itself has been a pioneer in the field, with the Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine (CCIM) leading the way through its multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers who have dedicated themselves to a new vision of health care. Most prominently, the new law specifies the creation of a national prevention strategy, providing $15 billion dollars in funding for a public health and prevention fund. Hui and his colleagues at the Center for East-West Medicine, these are steps in the right direction. Ryan Abbott, MD, JD, MTOM, an associate professor at Southwestern Law School, covers an article published in the DePaul Journal of Health Care that argues that the health care reform law has not done enough to integrate CAM. The approaches included are advice for lifestyle and behavioural factors, mind-body medicine, stress management, dietary changes, exercise and sleep advice, nutritional and herbal medicine and acupuncture. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70 percent of all deaths are due to chronic disease, and the cost of chronic care exceeds $1.5 trillion a year, or 75 percent of all medical expenses. Emerging as a cost- effective remedy to the epidemic of chronic diseases that continue to tax the economy, integrative medicine is being recognized as a strategy that can patch up holes in the current health delivery system while keeping medical costs at bay. CAM refers to the use of nonconventional modalities and therapies, such as acupressure, or alternative medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, either alongside conventional Western medicine (“complementary”) or in place of conventional Western medicine (“alternative”). It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship [between patient and physician] and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.” Dr. Lee states that since integrative practitioners are interested in the full spectrum of health and being – mind, body, and spirit – ”understanding the nuances of each of these facets provides a rich context for understanding how and why they came to be where they are.” Integrative doctors often provide many of the same tests that a conventional doctor performs, from basic physical exams and blood work, to Pap smears and cholesterol screening. According to the NIH NCCAM, based on a nationwide government survey released in December 2008, approximately 38 percent of U.S.
CCIM’s mission is to “build a 21st century model of medicine and health promotion that integrates state-of-the-art science with traditional healing principles of compassion, community interaction, and self-regulation.” Dr.
Chief among its provisions, the Act calls for the development of a national prevention, health promotion, and public health strategy through the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council and the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. However, for integrative medicine to flourish, changes will need to be made systematically, and “will require the concerted efforts, ingenuity, and collaborative spirit of the scientific and medical communities, policymakers, the business community, and the public.” Dr. The article advocates for a system of limited intellectual property protection to incentivize new CAM-based research and development.


A must for any graduate to keep up to date with the state of complementary medicine in Australia, along with a guide to possible referrals to other complementary medicine practitioners. With the help of groundbreaking medical research and life-saving surgical procedures, modern Western medicine has been successful in treating the right-hand side of the spectrum,” says Dr. Only a fraction of our budget is spent on prevention and health promotion, despite evidence that prevention can do much to reduce the burden of chronic disease. But proponents of the system see it as more than just a way to alleviate health care costs: “The integrative approach flips the system on its head and puts the patient at the center, addressing not just symptoms, but the real causes of illness. To be clear, “complementary medicine” suggests the addition of other healing practices to conventional medicine, in which those modalities would otherwise only have a secondary role, while “alternative medicine” implies the use of healing practices that altogether replace conventional biomedical treatments. Meanwhile, an ND receives Western-style medical training with additional instruction on botanicals, nutrition, and Eastern therapies. Integrative practitioners see physicians as educators of their patients, in which “physicians are basically the patient’s health advocate and coach.” Hui uses acupressure as an example of how patients can be taught techniques that can lead to daily maintenance of health and improvement of certain chronic problems, such as back and neck spasms.
However, it’s the emphasis on prevention and maintenance of health that’s different; and, in the opinion of integrative practitioners like Dr. Hui’s Center for East-West Medicine and the clinical program, the Pediatric Pain Program (PPP) at the Mattel Children’s Hospital led by Dr. Another section requires the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to establish a pilot program with up to ten community health centers to test the impact of providing individualized wellness plans to at-risk populations. Hui encourages open- mindedness and transformative ways of thinking that will heal both the broken health care system and its patients. CAM-based therapies are traditionally excluded from conventional Western medicine, since the mechanisms underlying many are not well understood by the scientific community.
However, one area of controversy regarding this profession arises from the lack of qualifications and education of many naturopathic practitioners. Hui, whose clinic sees around 13,000 patient visits a year, it’s a difference that really counts.
According to the IOM, integrative medicine is increasingly being accepted in many settings, from hospitals and private physician practices, to leading cancer treatment centers such as the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and even insurance companies.
Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, are both part of the CCIM and successful models of integrative health care.
These wellness plans are designed to reduce risk factors for preventable conditions, providing nutritional counseling, physical activity plans, alcohol and smoking cessation counseling services, stress management and dietary supplement advice.
Hui, “not only have the accelerating costs been under scrutiny, questions are also being raised about the paradigm that leans heavily upon high-tech and invasive crisis intervention. Although successful clinical outcomes and insights into CAM-based therapies (such as acupuncture and nutritional supplementation, to name a few), have led to significant acceptance in the West, the mechanisms behind other nonconventional therapies remain to be better elucidated.
A major concern is that many naturopaths have only completed minimal training before they are certified, while some practitioners of naturopathy have no formal training at all. Hui’s goal for his patients is to provide the safest, most effective, least invasive, and most accessible tools to keep them well.



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