What is integrated medicine?
Integrative medicine may sound like a fusion between unnatural medicine (often called conventional medicine) and natural medicines. Well, yes and no.
The term “integrated medicine” comes from regular doctors who are practicing unnatural medicine. It is used by them, among other things, to describe the addition of some natural therapies in their practice.
These doctors, tired of the lack of results from their medical practice, have decided to look into natural treatments to find their patients’ solutions.
Also, the idea of integrative medicine is to behave closer to what represents the “Hippocratic oath,” meaning:
- Establishing a partnership between the patient and the practitioner in the healing process
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease, including mind, spirit, and community as well as body
- Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
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Even if all of this is entirely laudable, integrated medicine still poses significant problems.
Firstly, the term doesn’t imply any guarantee of training of the physician in natural medicines. It may be a couple of weekends here and there, or it can be an entire corpus.
Secondly, the term doesn’t say which natural medicines the doctor is practicing. It can be anything: energetic therapy, homeopathy, supplements, manual techniques, hypnotherapy, etc…
Thirdly, a regular doctor adding some natural therapies to his practice doesn’t make him a natural health expert. In that regard, people should know that consulting an integrated medicine doctor doesn’t mean that they tried the “natural way,” only the integrative way.
Any doctor who includes more or less natural remedies in his practice, which gives some nutritional advice or prescribes functional biology tests (this can consist of a wide variety of exams, little used by unnatural medicine), is then considered to be practicing integrated medicine.
Therefore, we must distinguish between a qualified doctor who introduces part of one or more natural medicines into his practice with a practitioner or a doctor in natural medicines. In the first case, natural medicines are an addition, in the second case, it is a complete practice.
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