Integrative Medicine in Modern World

Dr. Anju Meshram

Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Kalinga University, Naya Raipur,

Integrative Medicine is a primary healthcare model that emphasizes a healthy lifestyle by coordinating the use of relevant therapeutics from both in and out of traditional therapies (Madsen et al., 2017).

This medical field considers wellbeing to be more than the absence of illness (wider health is defined), the investigation of a broad spectrum of therapies and perceptions (inclusivity), the coordination of all components involved in the process of healing, and patient-centered care as being among its principles (Ko and Schiffman, 2013). Other basic principles of integrative medicine that have recently been recognized in the pediatric field include prevention, contextually-centered care, the importance of communication between health professionals and families, evidence-based care that demonstrates the treatment plan’s safety-effectivity, and ecological sustainability (Esparham et al., 2018).

The holistic approach of treatment is a type of healing that considers the person’s mind, body, and spirit; it incorporates all areas of lifestyle; it is referred to as the optimum models of health and wellbeing; and it promotes the therapeutic connection with the integrative medicine (Thornton, 2013; Rayner et al., 2011). The employment of less invasive, harmful, and less expensive approaches to treat diseases is another aspect of integrative medicine (Rakel, 2012).

This kind of medicine also contains traditional medicines in different countries (Robinson, 2015), such as Traditional Mexican Medicine, because of its efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency in treating various diseases, such as diabetes (Laguna-Hernández et al., 2017), dysentery, and diarrhea  (Calzada et al., 2017), and so on. Integrative Medicine is investigating integrative techniques for various health systems as a result of the aforementioned (Robinson, 2015).

Another important aspect of integrative medicine is that it aims to incorporate healing techniques and the complete medical systems informed by evidence from Complementary and Alternative Medicines into the patient’s routine therapy (Thornton, 2013). (Rakel, 2012). There are clinical practice standards in place that question or analyze the scientific data about the efficacy of integrative therapies as supportive care in certain disorders (Greenlee et al., 2014). 

Patient-centered care, which refers to treatment suggestions and decision-making that take into account the patient’s preferences and beliefs, has been adopted in Integrative Medicine (Maize et al., 2009). Another factor is empathy in the development of clinical relationships of therapeutic partnerships (Thornton, 2013), which is based on listening and trusting without passing judgment and delivered not through paternalistic prescribing but through artful questioning that allows patients to discover their inner motivation to change (Rakel, 2012).

This influences in the role of the patient in their healing process emphasized the importance of the patient‘s – taking control‖ of their health decisions (Willis and Rayner, 2013), the patient empowerment element (Thornton, 2013), always accompanied by the health professional. The decision-making could be complemented with a transdisciplinary approach that increases the chances of achieving information synergies, thereby allowing us to frame better questions, gather more comprehensive data, and existing information to guide health decisions (Ciesielski et al., 2017). Along with this perspective, Integrative Medicine‘s idea of continuity in health care is an important element as well: when a patient continuously visits a specific practitioner and the latter always has the necessary information about their health process, among other matters (Thornton, 2013; Maize’s et al., 2009). This continuity could encourage patients to become more open towards the practitioner regarding emotional and mental causes of their disease (Maize et al., 2009). Evidence points out that this way of treatment brings good results. For example, it has been reported in a patient with non-small cell lung cancer treated integrating acupuncture and allopathic treatment showed an improvement in his cough, as well as his anxiety (Raz et al., 2017).


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