Supporting Mind, Body and Spirit
There are many definitions of “integrative” health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthy behaviors. Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – NIH
Complementary Versus Alternative Medicine
Many Americans—more than 30 percent of adults and about 12 percent of children—use health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine. When describing these approaches, people often use “alternative” and “complementary” interchangeably, but the two terms refer to different concepts:
- If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.”
- If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.”
Research has shown that integrative medicine approaches have significant effects in positive mental health and there is a growing trend in utilizing integrative medicine in behavioral health settings to address mental health and substance use issues and improve clinical outcomes. Mindfulness and Yoga have been demonstrated to show significant benefits for behavioral health including reducing depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.