FAQs To Give You A Better Understanding Of Integrative Medicine

When a person is sick, they often need medications to help treat the illness. But what if there is a better way to treat patients?

The human body requires a healthy diet, exercise and sometimes natural supplements to maintain optimum health. This is where integrative medicine comes into play.

Doctors use integrative medicine to treat the whole patient and not just put a band-aid on a health issue. Here's are what you need to know about this type of treatment option.

What Exactly Is Integrative Medicine? 

Unlike the traditional approach, known as functional medicine, integrative medicine understands that the whole person requires care and not just the underlying illness.

Functional medicine focuses on conventional western medical approaches and medications. The integrative approach includes more alternative treatment options, like meditation, therapy and holistic supplements to treat illness and keep the body healthy.

Integrative medicine also uses an individual approach for each patient. What works for one patient may not for another, so this treatment option seeks to treat the patient using forms of therapy tailored to their needs.

Is The Integrative Approach The Same As The Alternative Approach?

While integrative medicine may use alternative treatments and medications, it encompasses so much more. The integrative approach means health care providers use all appropriate treatments and therapeutics available.

Just as the name implies, it mixes the conventional with non-mainstream to provide a treatment framework focusing on health and the whole person. This provides safe and effective health care options to patients.

What Are Some Examples Of Integrated Treatments?

Health care providers use integrative treatments for patients suffering from chronic pain and fatigue to allow them a better quality of life. Cancer patients and those suffering from long-term or chronic illnesses can benefit from these treatment options.

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Dietary supplements
  • Aromatherapy
  • Music therapy
  • Animal therapy
  • Oriental medicine

These treatment options are not substitutes for traditional medications and treatments, but are used along with traditional treatments to promote healing and overall wellbeing. Health care provides break the integrative therapies into five major categories.

  • Manipulative body methods
  • Alternative medical systems
  • Biologically bases treatments
  • Mind/body focused options
  • Energy therapies.

Patients wishing to try a combination approach with traditional and integrative therapies need to reach out to their primary care provider for more information.

Our bodies are a complex system, and not everybody reacts the same to treatments offered, so the integrative approach is ideal for those seeking help with chronic conditions.