TYPES OF MEDICINE AND THERAPIES
There are basically three categories of medicinal approaches and applications that are traditional in nature and have been around for centuries.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE can be simply described as the treatment of symptoms, ailments and diseases using drugs, radiation or surgery. Treatments are normally administered by medical doctors, qualified nurses, pharmacists and therapists.
COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, as the name suggests, is medicine or therapy that complements the use of conventional medicine. For example, a patient who experiences discomfort after surgery, may be prescribed aromatherapy to help lessen the discomfort. Other types of complementary therapies include acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractic, herbs, yoga and aromatherapy.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, on the other hand, is treatment that is prescribed where conventional medicine may be deemed to be unsuitable, and which may be expertly recommended as a better choice for the patient. A good example of an alternative therapy is when the conventional surgery, radiation or chemotherapy in treating cancer makes way for a special nutrition and diet therapy instead.
INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE is treatment and therapy that may incorporate any of the above therapies, combining the best practices of both traditional and non-traditional medicine. Integrative medicine is meant to provide a more wholesome or holistic approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit.
WHAT IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
In a nutshell, integrative medicine serves to pre-empt an actual cure for an ailment or disease. While traditional medicine places focus on the symptoms, Integrative medicine works in a proactive manner in identifying the causes of why the symptoms are occurring in the first place and then treating the root causes.
As an analogy, a traditional medical doctor would prescribe, say aspirin, for a headache. The integrative medicine approach would, however, identify the root causes of why one is having a headache. Could it be due to dehydration or food sensitivities? The objective here is to stop the symptoms from occurring so that headaches may be a thing of the past.
You must have heard of the saying “Prevention is better than Cure “. This probably sums up the modus operandi of integrative medicine.
Integrative medicine can be viewed as wholesome medicine that treats the patient and not the ailment or disease. It uses more time, gives more attention and uses tools that are above what traditional therapies use. This way, patients have more choices and more opportunities to find solutions to their problems.
PRIME BENEFITS OF INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
1. Addresses the Root of the Problem
Integrative medicine identifies the root of the problem and acts on whatever that led to that problem in the first place, whether it is due to habits or nutritional issues. The benefit of this approach is seemingly more effective for the long term because it advocates healthier habits that heal and more importantly improve the quality of life.
2. The Partnership Approach
Integrative medicine is a bilateral approach whereby the patient is in partnership with the physician in the healing process, where any recommendation will be a combined consensus between the two. In this approach, the patient’s views about treatment and past experiences with healing therapies are treated as crucial and important for the healing process.
3. Addresses Chronic Issues
For those with chronic health problems, Integrative medicine is an excellent avenue to seek relief as it looks at the entire body for leads and attempts to bring the much-needed body balance that will often result in a much more effective way of clearing symptoms.
4. Personal Attention Accorded
To fully understand what’s going on within the body, much time is needed. Where conventional medical consultations takes about 20 minutes per visit on average, the integrative medicine approach is not time-constrained and thus patients who spend more time with their doctors feel better about the treatment they receive and might even reap favourable results faster.
HOW INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE CAN HELP – EXAMPLES
Here are just some examples of how integrative medicine can help address:-
The person is assessed to determine what goes on in his body and whether there exist any imbalances that may need to be addressed. By addressing individual needs, the rate of aging can be slowed down.
While conventional physicians only recommend diets and exercise for the obese and overweight, integrative medicine doctors will analyse a person’s metabolism and scale it up so that it produces energy in a proper manner. In integrative medicine therapy, the hormone system balance is also looked at closely, for weight loss.
While hormone replacement therapy is applied by mainstream doctors to treat PMC, integrative medicine therapy ensures a balance of all the hormone systems in the body and only natural and safe hormone application in the smallest dose necessary is dished out to relieve symptoms.
Chronic Fatigue is one condition that does not have a good and acceptable solution with conventional medicine. Integrative medicine, on the other hand, optimizes the body’s nutritional levels and balances hormones to allow the body’s natural forces to generate energy.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The integrative medicine approach reaffirms the importance and effectiveness of the relationship between doctor and patient. , and focuses on the whole person observing the evidence derived , and makes use of all appropriate approaches to achieve optimal and sustained health and healing.
Combining modern medicine with alternative but established approaches from around the globe, integrative medicine practitioners are in a pole position to be able to relieve pain, reduce stress, maintain the well-being, and enhance the patient’s adaptability to integrative medicine healing.