Integrative Medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person: body, mind, spirit, family, community and environment. It follows a personalized strategy and emphasizes a therapeutic relationship, where the patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process. By understanding the patient's unique circumstances a practitioner of Integrative Medicine uses all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative, to facilitate the body's own innate healing response.
The combined use of carefully selected conventional medical and complementary therapies results in an individualized healthcare approach designed to help prevent illness, optimize health and experience the healing power that each of us has within ourselves.
The Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine
Patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
All factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration, including mind, spirit, and family, community and the environment, as well as the physical body.
The practitioner makes appropriate use of both conventional and alternative methods to facilitate a given person's own innate healing response.
Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
Integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
Good medicine is based in good science; thus, Integrative Medicine is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
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 optimal health, self-exploration and self-development.