Integrative medicine, commonly known as alternative or holistic medicine is now considered mainstream. For this I’m grateful as being an advocate of natural medicine for close to 20 years, I’m no longer considered a “hippie”. Also, with health care on the top of everyone’s mind these days, integrative medicine puts health care squarely on the shoulders of those responsible…us. Integrative medicine sees the body as a mind/body/spirit connection, not just in physical terms. Elements of it can be as simple but powerful such as diet, exercise, and stress management. Seems simple to some of us but for others it can be scary. However, taking responsibility for our health is necessary when you consider that up to 70% of all diseases are preventable. Can you imagine the reduction in health care if the majority of us adopted lifestyle habits that included eating well, exercising, and stress management. Pretty powerful stuff.
Integrative or alternative medicine opens doors for us to explore the benefits of certain foods to eat (ie. fish for omega 3 fatty acids, or blueberries for antioxidant benefits), exercise not only helps us stay fit but helps detox the body, and meditation is a yogi’s best friend and truly one of the simplest and best ways to manage stress. It’s not considered “out there” anymore to adopt these principles as lifestyle choices. And I can seek the advice of other trained health professionals such as acupuncturists, naturopaths, and other qualified individuals who are trained in ways medical doctors aren’t. Just a different approach to health and wellness I can access.
What prompted me to write about integrative medicine is I heard a publication was to be inserted into the Wall Street Journal as a reference to integrative medicine. I’m still looking for it (if any of you New Yorkers out there see it, please send a copy to MT) I applaud any and all efforts for people to educate themselves on how they can take care of their own health and wellness.