The Benefits of Integrative Medicine
Imagine, if you will, what it’s like to go to a physician today. Typically, if you stop by the doctor’s office, it’s because you’re feeling under the weather and you need help diagnosing and treating your illness. This episodic care typifies the healthcare services that are offered in North America, and the system works well, for the most part. What makes integrative medicine unique, however, is that it takes a slightly different approach to patient care. Integrative medicine seeks to improve an individual’s overall health by combining the best practices of Eastern and Western medicine in an attempt to prevent a condition from developing in the first place.
One of the best ways to look at integrative medicine is as a medical specialty that encourages the use any treatment available to better the patient. Integrative medicine practitioners are licensed physicians who have completed extensive formal medical school training, but have also gone the extra mile to become extremely well versed in complementary and alternative medicine.
Another important aspect of integrative medicine is that it views the patient and physician as partners who must work collaboratively to help identify ways to improve the patient’s overall health. This might include something as simple as a change in diet and the use of natural remedies, or it might entail a commitment from the patient to enroll in therapeutic stretching techniques, like yoga, or to schedule semi-frequent massage sessions. It depends entirely on the patient, but the goal of integrative medicine is to find the right combination of treatments to make the patient as healthful as they possibly can be.
Across the country, patients are responding well to integrative medicine because they recognize the benefits to developing a close relationship with their physician. It can provide incredible peace of mind to know that you have someone to turn to when you’re feeling sick, but also someone who will help you be the best version of yourself. At the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), we offer board certification to highly trained integrative medicine practitioners and are proud to support this fast-growing medical specialty. The ABOIM is a Member Board of the American Board of Physician Specialties®, one of the recognized multi-specialty, physician certifying organizations in North America.