Health care: (2) Integrative Medicine

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:

Health care closely aligned with the spirit of our conference: (1) Holistic Nursing

Image source: BDL2013 website

Image source: BDL2013 website

Holistic nursing is a specialty practice that draws on nursing knowledge, theories, expertise and intuition to guide nurses in becoming therapeutic partners with people in their care. The holistic nurse is an instrument of healing and a facilitator in the healing process. Holistic nurses honor each individual’s subjective experience about health, health beliefs, and values. They are dedicated to healing the whole person.

From American Holistic Nurses’ Association website:

What is a Holistic Nurse?

A holistic nurse is a legally licensed nurse who takes a holistic (mind-body-spirit-emotion) approach to the practice of traditional nursing. Holistic nursing is based on a body of knowledge, evidence-based research, sophisticated skill sets, defined standards of practice, and a philosophy of living and being that is grounded in caring, relationship, and interconnectedness.

Image is linked to their website

Image is linked to their website

CHNA envisions Holistic Nursing as a recognized nursing specialty with the Canadian Nurses Association. …

Ultimately, our intention is to ensure and continue to achieve a philosophy of … nursing including the following three characteristics: self-care, humanizing health care, and promoting wellness’ (Dobbie, 2007).

Information about the Specialization Program (Levels I and II), the format of study, evaluation, and admission requirements can be found on their website.

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Of personal interest to me is that these nurses specialize in therapeutic and healing touch which I experienced when I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer over 12 years ago. I was worried that I might be mentally resistant to the chemo, and that my body, in following my mind, might also at some level create barriers to the flow of the chemical soup. Having settled on chemo as my treatment of choice, I wanted to do everything I could to ensure it did its awful worst for the cancer cells and its best for me.

I knew that the counsellors at the Vancouver Cancer Centre were trained in healing touch so I arranged to have a session just before each chemo hook-up. Their treatments were tremendously calming and helped me become more fully open to the orange poison trickling into my circulatory system. Whether there have been longterm benefits, I have no idea. But at the time, instead of having to wait in the lounge with all the other cancer patients and their worried families, I was treated to a soothing session in a quiet space and was ushered from there directly to the ‘pump’ room — all anxiety dispelled & all attitudinal, emotional,  and cellular channels wide open.

Thank you, Canadian Neuro Nurses!

Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses

Image linked to website home page

Wow!! Today the Canadian Association for Neuroscience Nurses has featured our upcoming BDL2013 conference on their website!!!

Mission Statement

The Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses (C.A.N.N.) sets standards of practice and promotes continuing professional education and research. Members collaborate with individuals, families, interdisciplinary teams and communities to prevent illness and to improve health outcomes for people with, or at risk for, neurological disorders.

Énoncé de mission

L’Association canadienne des infirmiers et infirmières en sciences neurologiques (ACIISN) établit les standards de pratique de la profession et fait la promotion de l’éducation permanente et de la recherche. Les membres collaborent avec les individus, les familles, les équipes multidisciplinaires et la communauté en général dans le but de prévenir les maladies neurologiques et d’améliorer la santé des gens qui en sont atteints ou qui sont à risque d’en souffrir.

What a fabulous endorsement!! Thank you so much!!