Integrative medicine is an approach to health management with a focus on healing, instead of diseases and their symptoms. It combines mental, physical, and spiritual approaches to restore the body’s natural balance and promote overall health. The overarching belief behind integrative medicine is that physiological imbalances are what lead to illness. By regaining equilibrium, health can be achieved. Many may also seek functional medicine as another holistic approach to managing their condition. Here are five benefits of integrative medicine.
It Encompasses the Mind, Body, and Spirit
Oftentimes, patients find themselves seeking care from several different specialists to address multiple symptoms. With integrative medicine, practitioners focus on how the mind, body, and spirit all work together and contribute to overall health. They consider how symptoms can all be interrelated and assess the entire patient to uncover root causes. In the pursuit of restoring balance, they’ll also examine lifestyle factors that could be barriers to health, such as injuries that make exercise challenging or cultural dietary practices.
It Encourages a Therapeutic Partnership
Certain conditions may not be able to be cured, but the symptoms can be managed effectively. Integrative practitioners take on a new role by partnering with their patients, offering guidance for treatment options, and collaborating to determine the best action plan for condition management. They may also offer lifestyle adaptations to ease symptoms during flare-ups, thus meeting the patient where they’re at during any given time. The potential for optimal outcomes is therefore increased.
It Takes a Personalized Approach
Not all patients experience symptoms in the same ways, and not everyone has the same individual factors that can influence health. With traditional medicine, most patients will be prescribed the same medicine for the same condition, which overlooks these variations. On the other hand, integrative medicine practitioners tailor treatment plans to meet each patient’s specific circumstances. They stay up-to-date with emerging therapies and peruse new literature to explore potential treatment options for all of their patients. To better understand the people for whom they provide treatment, they may ask many questions, thus learning more about family health history, environmental factors, and other specifics.
It Leverages Numerous Therapies
In conventional medicine, there may only be a handful of treatment modalities prescribed for specific conditions. Most often, medications are recommended to manage symptoms. In integrative medicine, all appropriate therapies may be explored, starting with the least invasive and the most affordable. Even practices that encompass mental elements, such as yoga and meditation, may be considered. Most practitioners prescribe evidence-based treatments, but patients who are interested in exploring other alternatives won’t be dissuaded from doing so as long as there’s no risk to their health.