Integral medicine

For the last 20 years, the term Integrative Medicine has been used to describe medicine without ideological boundaries.

It means that doctors are concerned only with how to make the sick person well, and in that sense do whatever is safe and effective, rather than being bound by any dogma, Western or Eastern.

Although doctors may seem to be concerned only with making patients better, this is unfortunately not the case. We need to be aware that Western medical doctrine is actually an ideology, not a science, because it is open not only to cognitive values but also to the profession's values of interest.

It therefore leans heavily on the drug and equipment industry, with which it lives in symbiosis, so to speak, and consequently looks after the profits of that same industry (from which it gets something in return). This is not discussed openly, and I would even say that it is something that is attempted to be concealed, because it is unlikely, given the nature of the profession.

(See the other text in this category on ideology in medicine and its role in maintaining the social power of the health system).

If this were not the case, integral medicine would not exist. When I personally specialised in neurology, I was negatively fascinated by the fact that patients mostly use medical diagnostic procedures either as guinea pigs or as consumers, while therapeutic procedures are rare, uninventive, even counterproductive.

Of course, these theses should be taken cum grano salis, because there are many quality therapies in classical neurology too. When I was introduced to acupuncture, I found that it could be used for neurological diseases and it was not clear to me why it was no longer used in the department. Later on, I realised that anything that goes against the established understandings is not welcome because it supports someone's gain.

However, we must be aware that conventional medicine has no alternative in many segments, such as diseases requiring intensive care or surgery. It is therefore important to be critical, to distinguish when and where we need to resort to 'something else' and when it is best to stick to the recommendations of medical textbooks and official literature. It is therefore a great advantage, when dealing with the sick, to be doctors, because we have the basic knowledge necessary to base our decisions about someone's fate on facts and not on fantasy.

That is why any therapy that is usually excluded from conventional medicine is called an alternative therapy. An alternative practice used together with a conventional one is called complementary (CAM).

The definition of integrative medicine would be as follows:
Integrative medicine (IM) is a combination of conventional medical therapies and complementary therapies (CAM) that meets the criteria of evidence-based medicine in terms of safety and efficacy. In other words, IM uses the best of both worlds.

The basic principles of Integrative Medicine can be formulated as follows:

  1. Partnership between patient and therapist
  2. Appropriate use of all relevant methods to enable the body to develop its full healing potential
  3. Taking into account all possible factors contributing to the disease at the level of body, mind and spirit, environment and community
  4. A critical approach to conventional and alternative treatment options
  5. Use of natural and less invasive therapies whenever possible
  6. Self-management for therapists to be models of self-development and self-exploration