Integrative medicine

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Definitions:[edit | edit source]

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms:

A type of medical care that combines conventional (standard) medical treatment with complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies that have been shown to be safe and to work. CAM therapies treat the mind, body, and spirit.[1]

Mayo Clinic:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the popular name for health care practices that traditionally have not been part of conventional medicine. In many cases, as evidence of efficacy and safety grows, these therapies are being combined with conventional medicine.

Thus, the term alternative has been dropped and replaced with newer terms, such as complementary and integrative medicine, integrative medicine and health, or just integrative medicine.[2]

BMJ Editorial 2001:

Integrated medicine (or integrative medicine as it is referred to in the United States) is practising medicine in a way that selectively incorporates elements of complementary and alternative medicine into comprehensive treatment plans alongside solidly orthodox methods of diagnosis and treatment.[3]

Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health:

The practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the practitioner-patient relationship. It focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.[1][4]

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

There are many definitions of “integrative” health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. ... NCCIH generally uses the term “complementary health approaches” when we discuss practices and products of non-mainstream origin. We use “integrative health” when we talk about incorporating complementary approaches into mainstream health care.[5]

World health organization (WHO):

Traditional, complementary and integrative medicine - Definitions

Traditional medicine - Traditional medicine has a long history. It is the sum total of the knowledge, skill, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.

Complementary medicine - The terms “complementary medicine” or “alternative medicine” refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition or conventional medicine and are not fully integrated into the dominant health-care system. They are used interchangeably with traditional medicine in some countries.

Herbal medicines - Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products, that contain as active ingredients parts of plants, or other plant materials, or combinations.[6]

Literature[edit | edit source]

"From Complementary to Integrative Medicine and Health: Do We Need a Change in Nomenclature?" Melchart D Complement Med Res 2018;25:76-78 https://doi.org/10.1159/000488623

References[edit | edit source]