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:
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.