Integrative medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient. It is an evidence-based approach that treats the whole patient – not just the disease – by making use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
At Western Wisconsin Health, we utilize integrative medicine to help guide the patient in simple and readily accessible strategies to optimize their health. These highly valuable life skills are particularly suited to:
- Chronic disease states such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Integrative medicine treats patient and practitioner as partners in the healing process, taking all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease into consideration including mind, spirit, community, and body. It does not reject conventional medicine nor accept alternative therapies uncritically, but rather relies on both to facilitate the body’s innate healing response. Good medicine is based on good science, and alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and illness prevention are paramount. Practitioners of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development. Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used whenever possible.
Mind and body practices are a diverse group of skills that are administered or taught by a trained practitioner. Mind body medicine focuses on the interaction among the brain, mind, body, and behavior, and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect our health.
With a strong emphasis on self-care, mind body medicine strategies include:
- Breathing techniques
- Drawings in individual and group settings
- Tai Chi