There are many definitions of integrative medicine. This is one that i particularly like....

"Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.

The principles of integrative medicine:

  • A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
  • Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body's innate healing response
  • Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body
  • A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
  • Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
  • Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
  • Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
  • Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development."

By Brad Lemley
DrWeil.com News

 

And From Dr. Andrew Weil:

"Practitioners of integrative medicine are fully trained to diagnose and treat functional disease before it damages tissues and organs and requires drastic, costly intervention. They work from the premise that the body can heal itself if given a chance, that mind/body interactions are real and often very relevant to issues of health and illness, that all aspects of lifestyle must be considered in evaluating patients, and that the doctor/patient relationship is a key factor in the outcome of treatment. In addition, they are familiar with a wide range of therapeutic options other than drugs. In recommending therapies not commonly included in mainstream practice, they pay attention to the evidence that supports them, always working from the principle that the greater the potential of a treatment to cause harm, the stricter the standards of evidence for efficacy it must be held to."