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See also Alternative medicine

Integrative medicine, as defined by NCCAM [1], combines conventional medical treatments and CAM alternative treatments for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of their safety and effectiveness.

The term Integrative Medicine has been attributed to Andrew Weil MD, but this phrase was actually coined by the Californian physician and author, Elson Haas MD.[2]

"Integrative medicine is the term being used for a new movement that is being driven by the desires of consumers but that is now getting the attention of many academic health centers. Importantly, integrative medicine is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It has a far larger meaning and mission in that it calls for restoration of the focus of medicine on health and healing and emphasizes the centrality of the patient-physician relationship. In addition to providing the best conventional care, integrative medicine focuses on preventive maintenance of health by paying attention to all relative components of lifestyle, including diet, exercise, stress management, and emotional well-being. It insists on patients being active participants in their health care as well as on physicians viewing patients as whole persons—minds, community members, and spiritual beings, as well as physical bodies. Finally, it asks physicians to serve as guides, role models, and mentors, as well as dispensers of therapeutic aids."[3]


Further information: Glossary of alternative medicine terms

Integrative medicine is a branch of alternative medicine which limits itself to methods with strong scientific evidence of efficacy and safety. The main proponent of integrative medicine is Andrew T. Weil M.D., who founded the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1994 based on a phrase coined by Elson Haas, MD.

Responsible alternative health product providers who have had medical studies conducted on their products often publish these studies online. Even so, it is wise to ask for a list of the ingredients used in the products you are considering purchasing.

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