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The field of conventional medicine has found numerous advantages of the integrative approach, including early detection, more effective treatments, and a better partnership between doctor and patient. All of these advantages point to one inclusive advantage: overall wellness of the patient. This includes not only the physiological aspect, but also the mental and emotional aspect of a person’s well-being.
In a general sense, the term “integrative approach” refers to the principle that combines different medicinal ideologies and utilizes them for maximum wellness. Usually, this refers to the combination of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). For example, a person suffering from backaches will consult both an orthopedist, or a “spine doctor,” and a chiropractor, who can manually and physically manipulate the patient’s back during a visit.
One of the most important advantages of integrative approach is that both the doctors and patients gain a more open and wider perspective about every possible treatment for many illnesses. The world of medicine is constantly expanding with new research, technologies, and methods, and an integrative approach to healing can make the most of this progress. This approach also, in a way, customizes each treatment for each patient according to his needs and diagnosis.
Integrative approach can also provide earlier detection and better diagnosis. Cases where a patient experiences certain symptoms but test results come out normal are not unusual anymore. An integrated view of medicine allows a patient to explore and consult other physicians and practitioners of CAM, which can help detect an illness more accurately. Some integrative tests include hair analysis, urine and saliva tests, dermal screening, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) diagnosis. These tests will collect data such as toxic levels, mineral imbalance, and hormone levels that can pinpoint the exact problem in a way conventional tests cannot.
Another advantage is the possibility of better treatment. A doctor following an integrative approach will most likely believe that a disease can be treated not by just one method, but by several methods. For example, a patient being treated for hypertension will not only be prescribed some medication, but will also be suggested to alter his diet and levels of physical activities. He can also undergo toxic cleaning by taking Chinese or Ayurvedic herbs. An integrative medication can not only result in a better healing process, but can also prevent the illness from recurring.
An integrative approach to medicine can also cultivate a better partnership between doctor and patient, as the doctor strives to do what is best for the patient. In turn, the patient puts his complete trust in his doctor’s knowledge and guidance. This kind of relationship cultivates an environment where various options and decisions are freely explored, achieving better success in healing.