Why Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Medicine (IM), also known as “Holistic Medicine“ or “Complementary Health”, is a term that is becoming more widely recognized as people seek alternatives to conventional medicine and investigate different avenues to control healthcare costs.

 

Conventional, or “Western,” Medicine relies on medication and surgery to treat most health conditions and symptoms. This kind of medicine can be both expensive and invasive, but may also be necessary for the treatment of emergency conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening injuries and diseases that require immediate care. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the total national healthcare consumption expenditures in 2013 for conventional medicine were $2.75 trillion. This is a 3.8% increase from 2012. With the continued rise in healthcare costs, individuals and companies alike have been searching for new forms of treatment, specifically those found in integrative medicine. What’s important to note, however, is that even though integrative medicine represents a new trend in healthcare, many of its practices and philosophies have roots spanning centuries of human history.

 

Integrative medicine involves treating the whole person – mind, body and spirit.  Instead of focusing on and treating singular symptoms like its conventional counterpart, integrative medicine works to reduce or correct the onset of these symptoms by identifying the underlying causes and shifting lifestyle behaviors and practices accordingly. Practitioners of integrative medicine use a combination of conventional medicine with complementary treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, yoga, and stress reduction techniques. The belief is that this approach increases an individual’s chances to not only become healthy, but most importantly, stay healthy. Advocates for this type of medicine use the term “complementary” to emphasize that holistic treatments are used in conjunction with mainstream medicine, not as replacements or alternatives.

 

The defining principles of integrative medicine are:

  • The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  • All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration.
  • The care addresses the whole person, including body, mind, and spirit in the context of community.
  • Providers use all appropriate healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
  • Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
  • Because good medicine is based in good science, integrative medicine is inquiry-driven and open to new models of care.
  • Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  • The care is individualized to best address the person’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
  • Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

 

At Verve Health we provide the inspiration, empowerment and necessary tools for individuals to take control of their own health and well-being, leading them to more productive and enjoyable lives. At the core of our integrative health centers and wellness programs are our dedicated team of doctors, practitioners, nurses, coaches and advocates that utilize and support the integrative medical approach for the treatment and prevention of an individual’s entire state of health. This team works together to identify the cause of health problems and treat more than just symptoms – they treat participants holistically with an emphasis on nutrition, stress reduction and other integrative avenues to foster the growth and achievement of real health. By aiding our participants in achieving real health, our team helps promote healthier, happier lives.

 

Resources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus14.pdf#103

http://www.bravewell.org/integrative_medicine/

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/alternative-medicine-integrative-medicine

https://aihm.org/about2/what-is-integrative-medicine/

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02054/Andrew-Weil-Integrative-Medicine.html