About Integrative Medicine
What is Integrative Medicine
“Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.” (Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, http://www.imconsortium.org/about/)
Defining the Terms
Within our Center, integrative, complementary, or alternative medicine and modalities are distinct from Western, conventional, or allopathic medicine in that many arose from Eastern philosophy and from a different view of the genesis of illness, healing, and body mechanics.
“Integrative” and “complementary” refer to the action of combining alternative modalities among themselves, as well as with conventional treatments, for maximum healing effect. Moreover, integrative and complementary describe the relationship between the modalities and the body itself, where the modalities interact with and enhance the natural healing capacity of the human being.
Alternative indicates a choice among equals. Where one modality is an alternative to another treatment, it suggests that either might be effective. One might be preferable to the other based on certain factors, but the outcomes are likely to be equal. At the Center for Integrative Medicine, alternative does not imply the dismissal or rejection of the value of conventional medicine.
With this framework of common language, we can describe our view of patients and their treatments:
The pathway to healing is unique to each patient. Our role is to guide every patient along his or her own path.