Eastern Medicine Meets Western Medicine
Integrative medicine is popular among many patients because it is, in a sense, a marriage between Eastern and Western medicine. Accordingly, a physician who specializes in integrative medicine does not promote one type of medicine over the other but rather utilizes treatments and modalities from both approaches to provide the patient with the best possible care. This professional is a licensed physician who completed formal medical school training but has also taken the extra steps to become highly knowledgeable about the best practices of complementary and alternative medicine, natural remedies, and other “whole person” treatment methods.
In today’s medical community, healthcare services are primarily designed to be reactive to a problem. When someone feels sick, they visit their physician to diagnose their condition and get them back on the road to recovery. Integrative medicine, on the other hand, was developed to focus more on ailment prevention in an attempt to stop illnesses from developing in the first place. Rather than stopping by a doctor’s office when you’re feeling unwell, with integrative medicine, you develop a relationship with the physician beforehand to identify ways to improve your overall health and wellness. Obviously, there’s no substitute for episodic care, and we all get sick from time to time, but with integrative medicine, patients learn ways to improve their mind, body, and spirit in an attempt to be healthier overall.
To be effective, integrative medicine requires a close partnership between a physician and the patient. By having a clear understanding of the patient’s lifestyle, sources of stress, diet, medical history, home life, and other variables, a more personalized treatment plan can be developed to better treat the patient. With integrative medicine, it’s all about finding the ideal combination of Eastern and Western ways of practicing medicine to optimize patient health and, hopefully, prevent illnesses from developing.
At the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties®, we offer board certification in integrative medicine to highly experienced and knowledgeable physicians who can demonstrate their mastery of this increasingly important medical specialty.