Integrative medicine views health from a whole-person perspective and strives to address each person’s physical, psychological, social and preventive health by combining treatments that have the highest likelihood of success for each person.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM)’s 2009 Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public defined integrative medicine as healthcare that is patient-centered, healing-oriented and embraces the best application of conventional medicine together with evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine practices (Maizes et al 2009, Schultz et al 2009).
This might include standard treatments such as medication, together with approaches such as nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques, support groups, acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga.
The integrative approach speaks to the human side of health and healing and has been shown to have a positive impact on improving health and well-being in many ways. For example:
- Mind-body therapies such as guided imagery, biofeedback and hypnosis can help us learn how to de-stress and control physiological functions such as blood pressure and heart rate.
- Relating to pets can help us feel calmer and foster a feeling of closeness and understanding with another being.
- Acupuncture can help relieve pain and other symptoms, lower stress and anxiety, improve the quality of sleep, reduce cravings, and provide a deep sense of relaxation.
- Meditation and spirituality can bring us into a state of deep relaxation that can help us cope and feel connected with nature or a universal source of being.
By incorporating the integrative approach, programs at Montefiore expand the treatment options available, while responding with sensitivity to people’s needs; offering additional ways to help manage symptoms and pain, alleviate anxiety and enhance quality of life; and championing the individual’s capacity for self-knowledge and healing.
Explore Integrative Medicine at Montefiore
- Acupuncture for Pain Management—An outpatient acupuncture service for treatment of acute and chronic pain.
- BOLD/Psychosocial Oncology Program—Free counseling, support services, wellness workshops, educational sessions, and peer support for people affected by cancer.
- Integrative Medicine and Palliative Care Team—The IMPACT Program provides services for children with life-threatening disease, including massage therapy, aromatherapy, yoga and Reiki.
- Integrative and Wellness Curriculum—This four-year curriculum for medical students provides an overview of complementary medicine through required and elective courses. Pet Therapy for Palliative Care—A specially trained dog named Spirit offers company and delight to patients with advanced illness.
- Spiritual Care Services—Chaplaincy and religious services to help meet the spiritual needs of patients and family members.
- Strength through Laughter Support Program—A monthly support group that uses the power of humor to support and inspire people with cancer and their significant others.