An interdisciplinary field
Integrative Health is a combination of an interdisciplinary blending of both Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and conventional medicine that employs a collaborative team approach guided by consensus building, mutual respect, and a shared vision of health. It is embodied by a partnership between patient and practitioners to treat the whole person by synergistically combining therapies and services (Boon et.al (2004), p. 17).
How do you integrate your health care?
Integrative Health is a partnership between you and your practitioners. You can begin by telling your doctor about your CAM usage. Do you practice yoga? Tell your doctor. Are you taking any supplements? Tell your doctor. Are you eating a special diet? Tell your doctor. By telling all of your practitioners about all of your health practices, you can begin to integrate your care and make sure that your practices are working together to enhance your wellness.
Speaking of Wellness
Integrative Health comes from a philosophy focused on health and wellness and not diagnosis and disease. It’s time to stop focusing on the microscopic view of symptom alleviation and open your heart and mind to a broader approach to health and wellness. This means take a whole systems or macroscopic view of your health. Consider your environment, mental health, social interactions, and purpose in life. The body is a naturally self-healing organism and given the right environment it should heal itself from issues relatively quickly.
Features of Integrative Health:
The patient-practitioner relationship
The placebo effect
For a list of Integrative Health topics you can check out our A-Z Health Index!
Integrative Health References
Boon, H., Verhoef, M., O’Hara, D., & Findlay, B. (2004) From parallel practice to integrative health care: a conceptual framework. BMC Health Services Research 4:15.