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What is Integrative Health and Medicine?

Several definitions exist for these terms, but they all share the same basic concepts and principles.

What’s in a name? Read more on integrative health terms at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website.  

Health

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity

World Health Organization

Integrative Health

Integrative health is a state of well-being in body, mind and spirit that reflects aspects of the individual, community, and population.

It is affected by: (1) individual biological factors and behaviors, social values, and public policy, (2) the physical, social, and economic environments, and (3) and integrative healthcare system that involves the active participation of the individual and the healthcare team in applying a broad spectrum of preventative and therapeutic approaches. 

Integrative health encourages individuals, social groups, and communities to develop ways of living that promote meaning, resilience and wellbeing across the life course. 

Claudia M. Witt, MD, MBA, et. al.

American Journal of Public Health, 2016

Integrative Medicine & Health

Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”

Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine puts the philosophy of integrative health to practice. It is both holistic and preventative in nature. While medical doctors are valuable and necessary experts for diagnosing and treating illness, they are often not enough – due to a lack of time, resources, knowledge, or personal beliefs – for helping individuals achieve wellness. The focus of integrative health is wellness and healing; not illness. A diagnosis of a long-term disease does not have to prevent you from living well. Taking an integrative approach can help you get there.

A key piece of integrative health and medicine is the inclusion of western medicine in an individual’s treatment plan and health care team. The Caring Ambassadors believes that seeking out the best medical practitioners and treatments for your long-term disease(s) should always be the first stop in your journey.