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Integrative medicine emphasizes a holistic approach to wellness that treats the whole person.
It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between the patient and doctor, and uses evidence-based interventions to address the underlying cause of disease.
Integrative medicine focuses on improving a person's physical and mental health by addressing nutritional needs, hormone imbalances, and toxic exposures.
Integrative medicine advocates a holistic approach to health and healing, which encourages prevention. Currently, most health care expenditures are directed to treating chronic disease, which causes significant morbidity and mortality. By implementing lifestyle changes, these diseases can be reduced and, therefore, the cost of health care may be reduced.
Integrative medicine practitioners typically have board certification. This certification signifies advanced knowledge and experience in the field and reflects the physician's commitment to adhere to the Medical Code of Ethics. While this certification is voluntary at this time, it is a sign of a practitioner's knowledge and ability to provide quality health care. Among these practitioners are medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and naturopaths. Other integrative practitioners include mental health practitioners, chiropractors, and practitioners of complementary therapies.
Integrative medicine also focuses on early diagnosis of health issues. Early diagnosis is key to treating illnesses and maximizing the effectiveness of treatments. In addition to conventional medications, integrative medicine also includes complementary therapies like acupuncture. Acupuncture uses fine needles inserted into certain parts of the body to affect energy flow. It is known to reduce pain, and preliminary studies indicate that it is effective in treating osteoarthritis.