Update: September 2011
Additional information on Functional Medicine
New: Functional Medicine Introduction
Previous: Integrative Medicine: An Overview
[Update: The information below is still of interest, but I encourage you to take it as part of a greater context that includes Functional Medicine, as well as the inputs from systems such as acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, Homeopathy, etc.]
The concept of Integrative Medicine is new in the field of health care. Bringing together different ways of understanding health, illness, assessment, treatment and recovery of health is monumental. My studies in techniques of practitioners from around the world -- and the stories I've heard from them and their patients -- give me deep insights into how much commonality there is of truly beneficial knowledge of how to live healthy lives and regain vibrant health. I am dedicated to helping bring peaceful coexistence and integration of different ways of understanding life and health.
See also: Philosophy of Health | Vis medicatrix naturae | What Integrative Medicine Means To Me [PDF]| Essay from Dean of Research at National College of Naturopathic Medicine: Understanding the Differences Between Conventional, Alternative, Complementary, Integrative and Natural Medicine
Integrative Medicine holds the promise of access to a wide variety of effective ways to understand health concerns and to deliver care without subservience to any one school of thought. There are several organizations now working on defining what Integrative Medicine encompasses and this is encouraging.
See also: Dynamic System Graphics
Here are some listings:
A magazine concerning Integrative Medicine:
The simplest answer is that they do not draw upon the science and clinical success of systems that do not support their current model of human function and medical care. Some writers say it is because of the influence of petrochemical multinational corporations and how they have reduced medical education to memorizing flow charts of how to give pills that make changes in body function associated with named "diseases". Mainstream doctors do not focus on the flow of energy through the body in the meridians described by doctors such as those providing acupuncture and Ayurveda. This single addition of body energy flow dynamics to the studies of doctors and researchers would reveal new answers to old puzzles. We need more scientific research to explain the success of acumeridian approaches in ways that mainstream practitioners are used to seeing. However, that shortcomings of current science does not negate their usefulness at the present time. The science and practice of acumeridian treatments would explain health care approaches based on these such as chakra treatments. My hope is that with appropriate and honest scientific study, we will see how it all fits together.
More of my writing on about aspects of Integrative Medicine:
The simplest answer is that (up until recently) they have not applied the new scientific understandings we have from fields such as Biological Dentistry (with its focus on metal/chemical toxicity), Neural Therapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, etc.
I talk about this in my public lectures:
"These systems all work, at least for many people, in many instances." And, "Acupuncture and acumeridian treatments are superb, but only for treating your body/energy field as it is at the time of treatment."
What I and other practitioners using the Expanded Paradigm approach do is to change your body so that it is not the same as it was. We have added the science of removing the heavy metals, chemicals, microbial infections, as well as toxic memories, that were shackling your body (essay on The Shackles on Job's Body) from its full capability.
Often I find myself frustrated when hearing monks and yogis talk about their ways of meditation or dedicated lifestyle. I believe that they (and other kinds of practitioners whose techniques help people live longer and healthier lives) are tied to the past. The world of the past did not include exposures to toxins in the levels we have today. The human body does not have natural excretory pathways for mercury. I can no longer fall back on the old assumptions that the world is a constant and what worked in the past will work as well now. I am convinced that things are different now, and there are ways to expand upon ancient methods that worked but not as comprehensively as is now possible. [See New Species of Human: Homo Toxicanus]
Our careful scientific approach to assessing and treating the individual leads to effective programs that efficiently support the body in detoxifying and then rebuilding its innate self-healing ability. Then when people use Holistic Medicine treatments, they have a better chance of good results. This is how I approach Integrative Medicine.