Integrative Medicine


Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.

The principles of integrative medicine:

    • A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process

    • Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body's innate healing response

    • Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body

    • A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically

    • Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms

    • Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible

    • Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease

    • Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, states Integrative Medicine "combines Mainstream Medical therapies and Complimentary and Alternative Medical therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness."

Andrew Weil, M.D., is the world's leading proponent of integrative medicine. In his New York Times review of Dr. Andrew Weil's latest book, "Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being," Abraham Verghese, M.D., states that Dr. Weil, "doesn't seem wedded to a particular dogma, Western or Eastern, only to the get-the-patient-better philosophy." You can learn more about what integrative medicine is at Dr. Weil's Website.