Integrative and functional medicine rationally combines western and non-western modes of healing into a proactive approach that offers the best preventive strategies to maintain good health. Dr. Andrew Well describes integrative medicine as a movement which
“restores the focus of medicine on health and healing and away disease and symptom management.
In Vancouver, BC, Connect Health’s Centre for Integrative Medicine offers a ‘new vision for health care’. Their mission is to provide effective whole person care by combining the best of conventional medicine and complementary approaches as well as to evolve the health care system by becoming leaders in clinical care, education, community outreach and research in the field of integrative medicine.
The philosophy of integrative health care practitioners (as represented by this statement from the Connect Health website) is that:
- the whole person should be treated, including mind, body, and spirit.
- the patient is the expert in their own healing journey.
- the appropriate use of conventional and complementary methods enhances the body’s innate capacity to heal.
- healing is always possible even if there is no cure.
I’ll give the last words in this piece to the real Patch Adams who uses the term ‘complementary medicine’. You may find what he says controversial, but it’s hard to disagree with his notion that “you want to do as many areas of wellness as you possibly can all the time.”
Other references and organizations:
- Alternative and Integrative Medical Society in BC — http://www.aims.ubc.ca
- Balance Medical Centre, Vancouver — http://www.balancemedical.ca/anti-aging-medicine/
- Centre for integrative Medicine (U. Saskatchewan) — http://www.medicine.usask.ca/integrativemedicine/index.html
- Key sources on ‘integrative medical care’ (blog & list) — http://blogs.ubc.ca/dean/2012/02/key-sources-on-integrative-care/
- Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrative_medicine