As defined by the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM (alternative) therapies for which there is scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.
Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.
Principles of integrative medicine:
A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body's innate healing response
Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body
A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
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