July 08, 2019
Integrative health, also known as integrative medicine, is an approach to health and wellness that seeks to find the root cause of health problems. The goal is to achieve physical, mental and social well-being throughout a person's lifespan and not only when they are ill.
Experts in integrative health combine – or integrate – elements of several types of medicine:
- Conventional medicine
- Alternative medicine
- Lifestyle medicine
- Traditional Chinese medicine
- Other forms of healing
How these elements are combined differs for every person who receives care. For some, conventional treatments like surgery or prescription medication may be the ideal approach. Others may benefit more from lifestyle changes, such as improving diet, sleep or exercise. Your physician may also recommend nutritional supplements, psychological services, neurofeedback or acupuncture.
An integrative medicine approach can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including heart disease, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders and neurological conditions.
A partnership between doctor and patient
Physicians who use an integrative health approach regard the people they are caring for as partners. For many, this means getting to know the patient through an extensive interview and the physical examination you'd get in a traditional doctor visit. An integrative medicine provider may also use scientific testing to help look for – or rule out – factors like hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities or chemical exposure.
If you are interested in exploring integrative medicine therapies to improve your health, speak with your doctor.