It is widely known that there are two different sides to the wide world of medicine: conventional medicine and alternative medicine often referred to as Integrative Health or Integrative Medicine.
Conventional medicine refers to anything involving the standard treatments of care, including synthetic drugs, surgical procedures, and the wide range of doctors that treat only a certain part of the body. Conventional medicine is a branch that extends to practically every type of medicine that is practiced by most doctors in the world. Alternative medicine refers to the huge amount of treatments that do not fall under the category of conventional. This refers to homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and a great many others.
So what is Integrative Health or Integrative Medicine?
Integrative health is a form of alternative medicine that refers to a special partnership formed by doctor and patient. This partnership seeks to develop a plan to optimize the overall health and wellness of the patient.
As with most forms of alternative medicine, the partnership formed in integrative health seeks to treat the person as a whole, not just the various parts of the person. This approach to medical care takes into account all factors of the person, including the interactions between the mind, body, spirit and the community in which they live.
Unlike conventional medicine, Integrative Medicine focuses on preventative care. It draws from the belief that if you take steps to ensure that you are taking proper care of yourself now, and treating your body the right way in the present, your health in the future will be maximized.
Base of comparison: Most people spend most of their lives subject to the demands of conventional medicine, only taking care of their bodies when something goes wrong. Integrative health does the opposite, teaching patients to take care of their bodies now so they will be healthy later. Yet there are a great many differences between the two different forms of medicine.
So what are they?
- Conventional medicine manages health, whereas alternative medicine optimizes the health of the patient.
- Treating the symptoms versus treating the whole person.
- Fixes problems as they arise as opposed to locating the risk and minimizing it.
- Technological and biomedical procedures against hands-on approaches to treating the whole person.
- Reaction to issues currently affecting health versus preventing health issues by anticipating them early on
These comparisons are as plain as day, and truly speak volumes about the veritable differences between the two approaches to medicine.
How it works: Integrative health follows a different set of rules than the standard practices of care performed by conventional medical physicians. Conventional medicine only handles health issues in the short term, without any foresight about the lifespan of the patient. Not only that, but standard practices of care rely solely on the patient to achieve whatever their health goals may be. Integrative health works in tandem with the patient so that the patient has a partner in achieving their health goals.
The partnership between the doctor and patient is the foundation upon which integrative health stands. The doctor has a vast knowledge base on methods for maintaining the highest standards of health, and educates the patient on how to take proper care of themselves.
Ask yourself this question: would you rather trust your continued health in someone who only wants to see you when something goes wrong? Or would you prefer to have an ally, a teammate that will join you on your quest to become a healthier, more vibrant person?