Integrated or Integrative Medicine is practicing medicine in a way that selectively incorporates elements of Complementary and Alternative medicine into comprehensive treatment plans alongside solidly orthodox methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Integrative medicine is not simply a synonym for Complementary medicine. It has a larger meaning and mission with it’s focus being on health and healing, rather than only on disease and treatment.
It views patients as whole people with minds and spirits as well as bodies, and includes these dimensions into diagnosis and treatment. It also involves patient and doctor working together to restore and maintain health by paying attention to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, quality of rest, stresses and the nature of relationships. Conventional medicine has become evermore dependent on high-tech solutions, and turned its back on holism and simple, effective methods of intervention.
The Chinese model for the levels of intervention provides an excellent example, which can be modified to suit many other modalities:
Diet→ Exercise →Massage →Herbs →Acupuncture →Poisons→Knife
Conventional medicine relies heavily on the last two modalities: Drugs and Surgery. An Integrative approach should start at the left with dietary correction.