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Integrative Medicine: The Best of Both Worlds

By Expert HERWriter
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with integrative medicine, get the best of both worlds Elena DUVERNAY/PhotoSpin

Do you want to be energized and healthy? Everyone does! In the search for energy and health, more and more of us have started to search out non-conventional forms of health and healing.

Where do we begin to find a credible expert to help us with our healing process? Should we look for holistic health care providers, or integrative doctors, or alternative healing?

This week I thought I'd take the opportunity to shed some light on the different defining terms about complementary, alternative and integrative medicine.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has defined three terms commonly used by people looking for options outside the mainstream conventional medicine model.

• Complementary medicine uses sources of healing that fall outside of conventional medicine, along with conventional medicine to achieve health.

• Alternative healing uses non-conventional methods instead of conventional methods to treat the patient.

• Integrative medicine is a combination of conventional or mainstream therapies and complementary or alternative therapies that have scientific evidence as well as safety and effectiveness

I consider integrative medicine to be the best way to approach treatment. It allows the practitioner or doctor to look at all the options and choose the best combination of approaches to help the person heal.

Alternative methods can be effective means for healing, however it is important that the doctor know how effective and safe the approach is.

I find as a naturopathic doctor, that often when my patients come into my office they come in thinking they only want to use alternative healing.

After we talk about their situation and I am able to do a thorough evaluation of their concerns, we usually end up choosing a plan that contains both elements of conventional and complementary treatments. This is an integrative approach that works the most often for patients.

Using an approach that combines science and natural treatments is what naturopathic doctors do best! Try working with a naturopath and watch your life be transformed.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.