Complementary medicine, therapies that are not part of traditional Western medicine. Care can include chiropractic therapy, yoga, meditation, and more. An Integrative Health professional uses all appropriate therapies, both conventional and complementary, to facilitate healing and promote optimal health. In recent decades, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in morbidity from preventable diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Integrative medicine is a comprehensive, patient-centered medical practice that uses therapies based on both evidence and experience. For cancer patients and cancer survivors, some integrative modalities can help with some of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Integrative medicine is growing in popularity in healthcare settings across the United States, as more people are interested in more holistic, individualized approaches to healing. In 1994, the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona was founded, with a primary focus on educating physicians in integrative medicine.
Completion of board certification indicates that the practitioner has proven knowledge and experience in integrative medicine practices. ABPS is the only multi-specialty certification board in the United States that offers integrative medicine certification. Arno Kroner, DAOM, LaC, is a certified acupuncturist, herbalist and integrative medicine physician practicing in Santa Monica, California. Integrative medicine professionals include professionals from many disciplines, doctors, nurse practitioners, doctors of osteopathic medicine, naturopaths, chiropractors, mental health professionals, body and mind specialists, massage therapists, and practitioners of complementary therapies such as reiki and acupuncture.
Andrew Weil, MD, a visionary physician and author, helped establish the field of integrative medicine as a specialty. The American Board of Medical Specialties offers integrative medicine certification through the American Board of Integrative Medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is a good tool for researching a therapy you are considering. Once you have met with an integrative medicine professional, you will send your primary provider a summary of your visit and a list of recommended therapies.
Good integrative medicine professionals see their patients not only as partners, but they are also willing to work collaboratively with other health professionals responsible for their care. Therefore, the term alternative has been eliminated and replaced by newer terms, such as complementary and integrative medicine, integrative medicine and health, or simply integrative medicine. Consult a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist with comprehensive specialized training for guidance if you are not sureMake sure that the supplements you are using are (safe) to take with your other medications and (that they come from a laboratory that is regularly inspected for quality). An integrative medicine doctor will partner with your oncologist or other healthcare providers to provide you with the best overall care and support that combines the best of traditional medicine and complementary therapies in the world.