Medical approaches are quite elaborate and diverse nowadays; finding the right one for you can be confusing. Just as you’re familiarizing yourself with a different medical approach, boom, a new one is out. Whether you like to be more traditional when it comes to mediation or you rather prefer alternative medications, the choice is yours. If you want to learn more about the differences in medical approaches, this article touches on integrative medicine and how it compares to alternative medicine. If you have heard this term and have been curious about the same, this blog will give you a deeper understanding of the concept and what it entails.
What Is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine prioritizes your whole health above simply your disease or condition. It examines your entire mind, body, and spirit in order to determine the underlying reason for your ailments or disease. Integrative medicine employs a strategy based on scientific research to enhance your health and well-being. Integrative medicine holds that your health is influenced by your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. It asserts that these requirements are interdependent and impact your overall well-being. Integrative medicine uses various therapies and dietary modifications to address the many different elements of health. It combines alternative therapies like acupuncture or yoga with traditional healthcare methods like medication and psychotherapy. In order to attain optimal health and recovery, integrative medicine “integrates” all elements of your well-being.
How Does Integrative Medicine Help?
Integrative medical practices assist your body’s inherent capacity for healing. It aids in stress reduction and encourages a state of calm that improves health. When you participate in your own recovery and feel encouraged to make lifestyle changes, it can help you attain optimal health. You may restore control over your health by incorporating integrative medicine into your daily healthcare regimen. The therapies don’t take the place of routine medical treatment from your primary physician and other specialists. Your usual medical treatments should be utilized in conjunction with integrative medicine so that both can work hand in hand to take your body and mind towards recovery. Integrative medicine is highly inclusive and focuses on recovery more than the “how”. As long as we get great results, it qualifies to be an integrative medicinal approach.
What Is Alternative Medicine?
Any approach that seeks to replicate the therapeutic effects of medicine certainly lacks scientific basis, testability, repeatability, or clinical trial proof is considered alternative medicine. All alternative therapies are based on pseudoscience and are outside of the realm of medical science. Scientific medicine, in contrast, employs the scientific method to assess potential treatments through ethical and responsible clinical studies, yielding reproducible proof of either an effect or no effect. While alternative medicine is more free-flowing and diverse, as it resorts to alternatives for solutions. Some alternative medical practices date back hundreds or even several thousands of years. Some are relatively new. There are occasions when a treatment that was once considered “alternative” enters mainstream medicine because there is substantial proof that it is safe and effective.
Is Integrative Medicine The Same As Alternative Medicine?
To answer the question above, no, integrative and alternative medicine is not one and not the same. In fact, there is a huge misunderstanding when these words are used alternatively when in reality, they are completely different approaches. In fact, the basic mindset behind the two approaches is different too. Highlighted below are some of the ways that the two differ.
- While Alternative Medicine focuses on using a non-mainstream approach along with conventional medicine, alternative medicine focuses on using non-mainstream approaches in place of conventional medication.
- Integrative medicine proponents never suggest not using interventions that have worked brilliantly. They naturally only support the use of effective, evidence-based treatments, whether that approach is in line with traditional medication or otherwise.
- Examples of alternative medicine can be using yoga and acupuncture for physical pain or ailments, while the example of integrative medicine is more about using alternative solutions while the traditional medicinal process is already at work. These can be medicines for symptoms of cancer while a traditional practice is already being followed or chiropractic exercises for war veterans.
With different types of medical approaches available out there, it might be confusing to know which one is the best for your body. Which one is less invasive? Which one actually gets the job done? While one approach can be more holistic, there might be another which is more scientific yet effective in comparison. This is where you have to pick your battles and decide what is a priority for your body. Integrative medicine sure bridges the gap between traditional and alternative medicine, providing the best of both worlds.
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