What is Integrative and Alternative Medicine?

Most people have heard the terms “complementary medicine,” “alternative medicine,” and “integrative medicine.” What do they all mean? For one, “complementary medicine” and “integrative medicine” are different ways to refer to the same thing. These terms refer to medicine outside of the mainstream, or Western, medicine. Integrative medicine works together with traditional medicine. On the other hand, “alternative medicine” uses an approach that is non-mainstream and in place of conventional medicine.

Alternative Medicine

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that alternative medicine is a diverse group of health care and medical systems, practices and products that are not usually used in conventional medicine. They are medicines and practices that have not been proven by science to be effective and are based mostly on anecdotal evidence or rather, word of mouth.

Alternative medicine is widely based on the use of herbs, other natural elements, body manipulation and the use of the mind as a component that can be used to prevent and cure illness. These methods have been used for centuries in traditional medicine, such as that used by the Chinese.

Acupuncture, chiropractic and massage are often considered alternative medical procedures, as there is no scientific evidence that they are effective. However, conventional medicine is beginning to see these as effective, and they are becoming accepted as more mainstream. In fact, many alternative treatments and medications once considered alternative are now considered mainstream. In fact, many traditional medicines have led to the discovery of conventional medicines.

The use of herbs, spices and other natural ingredients, such as St. John’s Wort for depression, Echinacea for boosting immunity, and ginger for pain and nausea, have been used by millions and have been found helpful. However, the use of foods as curatives has been controversial. Although good nutrition is important to health, the idea that one or two particular foods can cure an illness is not accepted.

Osteopathy, is a non-invasive, drug-free, manual practice that focuses on creating health and well being through the musculoskeletal framework by using manual manipulation that affects the nervous system and lymphatic system.

In general, alternative therapy is the use of natural substances and non-invasive methods to deal with illness, whether it is lack of sleep, skin disorders, or cancer. True alternative medicine is not widely used.

Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine is a combination of alternative and conventional medicine. Mind and body wellness, natural substances and Western medicine are used together to obtain optimal health and disease control. It is also sometimes referred to as holistic medicine. This type of health care combines Western medicine with the use of natural remedies, plus the advocacy of mind-body wellness.

Over the past decade, the use of integrative medicine has become more widespread and accepted by medical professionals and the general public.

Natural products sold as dietary supplements such as herbs (botanicals), vitamins, minerals and probiotics are becoming more accepted by mainstream medicine and are now often prescribed as part of a physician’s instructions to a patient.

Fish oil/omega 3 is a supplement often suggested for use in combination with medication for heart disease and high cholesterol. Probiotics are now often suggested for the treatment of mild intestinal disorders.

Integrative medicine strives to include the best that science can provide, while at the same time, using natural and non-invasive methods to treat illness.

Nutrition is seen as a great part in achieving health and wellness. A diet that meets the nutritional needs of the body can help to maintain health and provide an excellent platform for fighting disease. Exercise such as Tai Chi and yoga are often recommended because of the benefits they provide to the body, as well as the calming, positive effects they have on the mind. Meditation can also be useful for focusing and relaxing the mind.

Obtaining a healthy mind and body are seen as an integral part of integrative medicine. A healthy mind and positive attitude toward life can have a great effect upon the body and how one feels.

Before you begin on any medical journey, make sure you talk with your physician and provide all of your medical information so that he/she can recommend the best course of action for you. Dr. Bordenave is located in Coral Gables and is happy to serve the south Florida area, including Miami and West Palm Beach. Give us a call at 305 446-2444 to schedule an appointment.

Sources: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam





Published by Axiom Health Care Marketing





A New Type Of Medicine: Integrative Methods To Promote Health And Wellness

acupunctureIn the United States, integrative medicine services have gained popularity and there are currently more than 70 percent of Americans that are actively using the treatment method in some form. The research that is linked to these alternative medical treatments have suggested that how you feel, how you think and how you live can all affect your overall health and wellness. For example, stress is linked to fibromyalgia, asthma and infections, while diets that are high in fat can lead to problems such as cancer and coronary disease. Integrative medicine may also help you if you suffer from any type of chronic illness and have the desire to reduce the frequency or severity of the disease episodes, or simply achieve a better quality of life.

Traditional medicine practices are able to diminish the consequences that result from unhealthy lifestyles, but integrative medicine can actually reverse these consequences and reduce symptoms while preventing illnesses all together, which can lead to the following benefits:

  • Improved sleep;
  • A reduction in pain;
  • Fewer after-surgery complications;
  • Fewer episodes of depression or anxiety in relation to an illness;
  • A reduction in glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure;
  • Increased function of the immune system and a reduced number of infection;
  • An improved functioning of the bowels.

Integrated medicine is a type of health care that works to foster a relationship of cooperation with all of the factors that are involved, which can lead to superior health and wellness in all areas of your being, including emotional, physical, social, mental and spiritual. This type of medicine looks at the entire person, which includes an analysis of environmental, social, physical, spiritual and nutritional values. It also uses all modalities of treatment and diagnosis, which includes surgery and drugs, if there is no alternative treatment that is safe.

The practice of integrated medicine also focuses on the responsibility and education of each patient to achieve optimum levels of health and wellness. There are a number of different types of integrated medicine treatments including nutrition counseling, acupuncture, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, Yoga and Reiki. Some of the most common ailments that integrated medicine treatments are used to treat and manage include:

  • Migraines or headaches;
  • Back pain;
  • Heart disease;
  • Diabetes;
  • Cancer;
  • Irritable bowel syndrome;
  • Shingles;
  • Obesity;
  • Chronic Fatigue;
  • Stress;
  • PTSD.

When one part of a person’s mind or body is not functioning properly, it is believed that it will affect the entire person. With integrated medicine techniques, the treatment that is used will focus on the person as a whole, rather than simply treating the illness or the part of the person’s body that is experiencing the problem.

Keep in mind, in addition to seeking treatment for health concerns, it is also important to implement a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a nutrition optimized diet, managing stress, exercising and not smoking. Integrated medicine techniques are quickly becoming a mainstream treatment option, and often used as complementary types of care for therapy and preventative measures.

Published by of AXIOM Health Care Marketing.

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Do you know the intertwining layers that make up our physical, mental, and spiritual self?

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