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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Integrative Medicine


Integrative medicine combines modern Western medical practices and understandings and combines it with alternative therapies such a stress-reduction techniques, supplements, herbal medicine and acupuncture. Integrative medicine encourages people to question their health and the clinical nature of therapies in the context of wellness (not sickness) which empowers people to be active participants in their own health. As a wellness-driven medicine, integrative medicine does not look at issues in the context of treating patients, but in the context of treating issues.

All throughout recent history, medicine has focused on treating the symptoms rather than treating the patient who is being affected by an illness or ailment. Whilst this form of medicine is sometimes successful, it isn’t always so. For example, in emergencies, western medicine is more of a quick fix that doesn’t always get to the root of the actual problem being complained of. Because the individual is ignored, and it is the symptoms which are given all the attention and treatment, the patient does not get 100% better and will likely find themselves back in hospital.

How Does Integrative Medicine Work?

Our human bodies are complex machines which intertwine different systems so that we can function. Integrative medicine looks at the various factors which impact how these systems work, or don’t work, in each person and takes an individualized approach to providing treatment. Integrative medicine recognizes that what is right for one patient is not necessarily right for another. There are several factors which need to be considered such as lifestyle factors and health history, for example, and providing a blanket approach to treatment like western medicine tends to do is not always going to provide the most optimum results.

The overall success of integrative medicine is very dependent on there being an open relationship between healthcare practitioners and patients. And, in-order to treat a patient properly, healthcare practitioners must know everything there is to know about a patient such as health history, diet and lifestyle. This is known as patient-centered care.

What is Patient-Centered Care?


In short, patient-centered care is an idea practiced by most healthcare practitioners who subscribe to integrative medicine. Patient-centered care is the very core of integrative medicine and it is all about making sure that the patient is put first, beyond anything else. The practitioner makes sure that the patient is provided with everything they need in addition to traditional western medical practices in-order to make a quick and full recovery where there won’t be a high chance of recourse. By putting the patient first, it is not just the illness which is treated but the entire mind, body and spirit all at the same time.

In the U.S., recent legislative changes in the arena of healthcare have elevated integrative medicine by openly stating how important it is for healthcare practitioners to focus on all healthcare options available, not just clinical medicine. To this effect, many healthcare practitioners now take a more holistic and integrative medical approach to their treatments.

In addition to the above, employers have begun to align their healthcare premiums with the relative health and wellness of their employees. This creates accountability for health - if you aren’t healthy, you will pay more - and helps to complement patient-centered care. Integrative medicine can be supplemented with Integrative Therapeutics products which are created with integrative medicine practices in mind. Integrative Therapeutics are widely recognized as the leading provider of integrative medicine and their range of supplemental products are often provided during their treatment programs. They are conveniently available to buy through Blue Sky Vitamin.

3 Ways Integrative Medicine Benefits Patients

1. It Targets the Root of an Illness

The medical community widely understands integrative medicine to get to the root of problems rather than just slap on a quick fix, and the current trend within medicine is to “treat the person” rather than “treat the symptoms.” Rather than simply addressing a current problem, integrative medicine looks towards the root of the problem and doesn’t just treat symptoms, but teaches the patient how to change their habits or practices which caused the problem in the first place. In the long-term, this is very effective and keeps people out of hospitals.

2. It Addresses Chronic Problems

Integrative medicine is fantastic for people who suffer from long-term chronic problems which are difficult to treat. Because doctors need to spend a longer amount of time with patients suffering from chronic issues so that they are able to fully understand what is going on, integrative medicine naturally fits in with its “treat the individual” approach. In an age where many medical appointments last no longer than 15 minutes or so, personalized approaches and attention to patients is an infinitely effective approach. Patients who have chronic issues suffer for longer because traditional medicine has not figured out how to address the underlying problem. Because integrative medicine works to bring the whole body into better balance, it results in the clearing up of symptoms much quicker.

3. It Ensures Patients Are Personally Cared For


Integrated medicine looks at the entire picture rather than symptoms alone, so doctors need to spend a lot more time with patients in-order to get to the root of a problem. Also, patients who get to spend more time with their medical practitioners naturally feel better about the treatment they are receiving, and this can, in some cases, speed up the healing process which can easily be slowed down by stress, anxiety and an unwillingness to undergo certain treatments. Remember, integrative medicine is not concerned with getting rid of symptoms, it is concerned with addressing the causes of your symptoms so that they go away and don’t return.

Should I Consider Integrative Medicine?

It’s all down to you and what your own medical practitioner thinks - after all, we are not all health experts. That being said, if you are suffering from a problem and want to get to the root of it, especially if it is a chronic problem which is persistent and is not going away despite your doctors’ best efforts, then it could be the right thing for you.

Although Western medicine in many cases does work with its approach of delivering drugs and treatment regimens which treat the symptoms, this isn’t always the case. With integrative medicine and supplements, you are getting treatments and products that work by fighting the root cause of an ailment, illness or chronic condition. By fighting the root cause, you are able to banish the symptoms and stop them from returning.

Think of it like pulling weeds out from your garden. If you completely remove the entire weed from the ground by uprooting it, it won’t come back. However, if you merely pull the leaves but leave the roots there, it will rear its ugly head again. Medicine works in the same way.

Whilst integrative medicine is a relatively new idea, there has been a lot of research which has demonstrated it to be a serious modern medical practice and it has even found its way into law. Medical professionals are beginning to appreciate the importance of not only treating the symptoms, but treating the patient, too.

This is a guest blog entry.

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