Wisneski Leonard A.
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Sanbook 2. Since the first suffering supplicant offered a prayer to his god or the first mother cradled an ailing child in her caring arms, we have witnessed how human health and healing goes beyond any inventory of parts and infusion of chemicals. We humans are a complex melding of thought, emotion, spirit, and energy and each of those components is as critical to our well-being as our physiological status.
Even if we are just beginning to quantify and document these seemingly intangible aspects, to ignore them in the practice of medicine is neglect and an invitation to do harm. Now in its second edition, The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine continues to provide doctors and other health practitioners with information on complementary and alternative approaches to health, that is authoritative, scientifically based, and epidemiologically substantiated.
Principles of Integrative Medicine
Written for doctors and healthcare professionals by pioneering practitioners and updated with the newest research across an increasing range of possibilities, the new edition of this bestselling work - Establishes the scientific basis for the mind-body connection and then documents the puissant interactions of the endocrine, immune, nervous, and stress systems that so profoundly influence our lives Examines that healing dimension of spirituality, which informs but transcends the five senses Investigates how hope, faith, and love aid healing Discusses how the emotional presence of a practitioner affects patient outcome Considers the incorporation of a unified theory that can account for the existence of health enhancing energy fields within - as well as outside - the human body Integral physiology serves as a bridge between Western medical knowledge and the equally valuable, but less well-recognized, Eastern systems of medicine.
The authors refer to it as integrative because it combines important Western biological knowledge with forms of healing that incorporate the mental and emotional, and spiritual aspects that are essential to health, because those aspects are what make us essentially human.
Have doubts regarding this product? This and other definitions [ 2 ] are sound promising, but they do not tell us what modalities might be included under this umbrella.
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To find out, we have several options. We can, for instance, search the internet, where we find any manner of unproven treatments, even outright quackery, associated with integrated medicine [ 3 ]. But it might be unfair to judge this field by its associations in a commercial environment. Perhaps, it is more objective to define integrative medicine through an analysis of the contents of recently published books on this subject.
The Scientific Basis of Integrative Health
Based on these data, integrated medicine covers a wide range of therapies. Unanimous agreement amongst the authors of these books seems to exist that it includes the following modalities: acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, massage and osteopathy. Most of the books would furthermore include biofeedback, chiropractic, hypnotherapy, meditation and naturopathy. For all other treatments, no clear consensus emerges.
For most of them, the evidence base is less than solid [ 10 ]. Prime examples of unproven or disproven treatments include homeopathy [ 11 ], prayer [ 12 ], reflexology [ 13 ] and spiritual healing [ 14 ].
Another option to describe the nature of integrated medicine might be to evaluate the abstracts of an academic conference on this topic. I categorized its abstracts[ 15 ] according to subject areas, whenever possible, attributing one therapeutic technique to each abstract. There were several general abstracts, e.
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None of them were linked to a specific intervention. Two abstracts each related to art therapy, hypnotherapy, kinesiology and nonherbal supplements. One abstract each related to aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies, the Balint approach, bioresonance, chiropractic, cupping, dance therapy, electrotherapy, fasting, honey, leeches, music therapy, naturotherapy, osteopathy, reflexology, thermotherapy, Tibetan medicine, water immersion and yoga.
Both analyses confirm that integrated medicine embraces a wide range of unproven or disproven alternative therapies with little consensus amongst experts which modalities are at the core of this area. They also show that mainstream modalities are largely excluded. It is thus fair to suspect that integrated medicine is alternative medicine by another name, nothing other than a cloak of respectability disguising alternative medicine.
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The Scientific Basis of Integrative Medicine
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