While Western medicine in the United States largely devoted itself to developing new pharmaceuticals and technologies to heal and cure patients throughout the latter part of the 20th century, the 21st century is seeing a significant rebirth of alternative and Eastern medicine. Integrative medicine, combining the strengths of modern medicine with other healing traditions from around the world, has gained particular momentum. Patients are attracted to this approach because it emphasizes treating the whole person and promotes more natural and less invasive therapies whenever possible. (Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine). Integrative medicine considers the mind, spirit, body, and community and views the patient and their healthcare provider as partners in the healing process.
And what’s really exciting is that early research demonstrates a myriad of benefits to this holistic style of care, which is in turn increasing access to this type of care as doctors and hospitals increasingly adopt “complementary care” practices. A 2008 study by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, found that 27% of hospitals offered such therapies to their patients, up from just 8% ten years earlier. Therapies offered in addition to conventional medicine may include acupuncture, Yoga, meditation, biofeedback, guided imagery, or massage therapy. (Osher Center for Integrative Medicine).
If you haven’t been introduced to integrative medicine in navigating the more traditional health care system, you can search here for a Board Certified Integrative Holistic Physician near you. Here’s to your whole health!