Integrative Medicine, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health:
Integrative medicine combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. It takes into account the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes therapeutic relationships and makes use of all appropriate therapies, where applicable: conventional and alternative.
The principles of integrative medicine:
- A collaboration between patient and practitioner;
- Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate healing;
- Consideration of all factors that influence health and disease, including mind and spirit, as well as body;
- A philosophy that incorporates, where appropriate, conventional medicine and accepts alternative therapies uncritically;
- Recognition that good medicine should be based on science, be inquiry-driven, and be open to new paradigms;
- Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible.