CMMC Integrative Medicine Combines Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Along with Conventional Treatments
Integrative medicine combines conventional and alternative or complementary therapies to offer patients options when creating a treatment and healing plan. Patients work closely with their healthcare team to choose therapies that may be helpful. Examples of these therapies include, and are not limited to: yoga, Reiki, acupuncture and massage.
While integrative medicine may incorporate non-conventional therapies into a treatment plan, it is never intended to replace standard medical treatment and therapies. An alternative therapy may be considered as an adjunct to standard medical treatments.
Patients with serious conditions such as cancer or heart disease, or with chronic conditions such as arthritis, must consult with their healthcare practitioners before starting any integrative medicine therapy that may cause interactions with medications or involve joint or muscle movements.
The Benefits of Considering Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine includes therapies that have been proven to improve well-being. Therapies are not considered cures; they are valued because they can help lessen pain and discomfort, improve health overall and also be part of a person's health values.
Some of the benefits of integrating non-conventional medical practices into a health plan include:
- Decreased pain levels
- Better sleep
- Improved stress-coping skills
- Mood improvement
- Enhanced immune system
- Lowered blood pressure
- Improved digestion
- Lowered cholesterol
- Lower glucose
- Fewer complications after surgery
- Fewer side effects from medications, such as cancer therapies
Who Might Benefit from Integrative Medicine?
Patients who might benefit from Integrative Medicine include:
- Pre-natal care and delivery patients
- Well care, including children and adults
Also, patients with:
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Back pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic fatigue
For more information about integrative medicine, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health. Their mission is to support research, training and education about complementary and alternative medicine.