Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), also called integrative medicine, is popular in today’s widening health care world. These are practices and treatments that have traditionally been outside of the mainstream – but as their efficacy and safety are validated, these previously extraneous methodologies are slowly being conscripted into traditional medicine treatments.
Integrative approaches to medical treatments are benefiting people with cancer, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and beyond. These approaches include:
- Music therapy
- Animal-assisted therapy
- Herbal treatments and supplements
Risks to Alternative Treatment
While these alternative methodologies have a high rate of success, they are not designed to supplant traditionally accepted treatments – but should rather be used in conjunction with them. Before any patient decides to radically alter the care plan their doctor provided for them, they should consult with the doctor in charge of their care to ensure there are no contraindications (i.e., things that can work against each other).
While if a person awoke one day with swollen legs from retaining water, their primary care physician may give them a pill designed to rid the body of the excess fluid. A naturopathic physician might prescribe a change in diet and hot or cold therapy, while an Eastern medicine physician might prescribe special herbs and acupuncture.
Therefore, very diverse treatment methods are available. And while some may work, others may not work at all — so changing or modifying a care plan is a decision that should be made carefully between doctor and patient.
Contributions by Integrative Medicine
The primary focus of integrative treatment is getting well, staying well, and preventing future developments of disease – rather than just treating the illness and its symptoms to make them stop for now. Techniques that involve the body as a whole, including mental focus and calming the body’s processes, offer greater results when combined with traditional medicine than traditional remedies alone.
Adding in meditation, biofeedback, and implementing a period of “focused breathing” daily have proven themselves to be invaluable tools for staying well. Talk to your doctor about the best integrative medicine to use alongside your medication or therapy. Anything that sounds too crazy is probably not worth it.
Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine
The codified principles of integrative medicine are that the patient and physician are partners in the process of healing the patient. This approach takes a wide, holistic view of all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease, and incorporate them into the patient’s care plan.
The mind, a positive attitude, and spirituality all play a crucial role in integrative medicine. Physicians will facilitate and provoke the body’s natural healing processes, and they always prefer to use the least-invasive procedures if possible.
Natural Health Physicians in Dayton, Ohio
When treating an illness or health condition, the broader aim is to focus on promoting healthy choices and steps toward illness prevention.
If you or someone you know could benefit from an integrative health approach, contact us at InteCare Medical Clinic. Call (937) 874-5766 or request an appointment online, and see a doctor who specializes in a holistic approach of healing, not just treating.