Creating an integrative medicine model for patient care is about more than randomly choosing between methods of the traditional healthcare system and the alternative medicine sector. Integrative healthcare, to effectively treat chronic pain, integrative medicine combines any and all safe and effective treatment modalities, without regard for whether the modality originated in the allopathic, pharmaceutical or CAM arena.
Philosophically, integrative medicine is primarily guided by the following principles:
Integrative medicine is the appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to enhance the capacity for healing.
Integrative physicians embrace a variety of sage and effective options in their diagnosis and treatment including education for lifestyle changes and self-care.
Integrative medicine is a philosophy that does not arbitrarily reject conventional medicine nor accept complementary alternative medicine but, rather, seeks to continuously improve care through utilization of all scientifically valid healing modalities.
Searching for the underlying cause of disease is preferable and more effective than treating symptoms alone. The integrative approach to delivering patient care focuses on health and naturally enhances the patient’s own innate healing capabilities.
Integrative medicine incorporates evidence-based natural, less invasive interventions, in accordance with the hierarchy of treatment philosophy, whenever appropriate.
Integrative physicians encourage patients to evoke the healing power of positive emotions (love, hope and humor, etc.) and release negative emotions (fear, anger, depression).
The quality of the physician/patient trust relationship, in which the patient is empowered and encouraged, is a major determinant of healing outcomes.
Illness is viewed as a manifestation of a dysfunction of the whole person, not as an isolated event.
Integrative medicine partners with patients, their families and all licensed providers of healthcare services who utilize a scientific basis of pathophysiology as a foundation to their healing practices.
Optimal health is much more than the absence of sickness. It is the conscious pursuit of the highest qualities of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social aspects of the human experience.