How to Become Doctor of Integrative Medicine
What Is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative Nutrition, a branch of the larger field of Integrative Medicine, is the practice of treating people with a holistic approach to medicine and health care, focused on not just the ailing part of the body, but where the entire mind, body, and spirit are taken into consideration. An 'integrative medical approach' views health issues as intertwined, where the solution to any ailment, illness or injury is encompassed in the er mental and physical aspects of the human body. Although nothing new, integrative medicine and Integrative Nutrition have begun to become more popular with the general populations of North America and the Western World over recent decades.
According to physicians at Duke University's Center for integrative medicine, a patient should be seen coming into the hospital, clinic or physician's office as a 'complete human being', instead of merely the 'sum of his or her illness, injury or ailment'. For this reason, medical doctors as well as nurses, nutritionists and dietitians, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists and even dentists and orthodontists, as well as numerous other health care professionals, have begun to focus their practice on a complete, holistic form of integrative medicine. By treating the entire body, mind and spirit, these health care professionals have continued to find that this approach to health care can provide faster, easier, safer and more long lasting affects on their patients.
Integrative Medicine Treatments
In addition to conventional Western medical practice including traditional medications, surgeries and other medical procedures, today's integrative health care professionals have begun to provide their patients with a host of alternative treatments and procedures to compliment their treatments. Most commonly referred to as complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, these treatments often including the following:
- Herbal/Alternative Medicine
- Fitness Regimes
- Tai Chi
- Biofeedback (A process of monitoring the body's various physiological functions using instruments in order to manipulate them at will.)
- Stress Reduction Techniques
- Ayurvedic Medicine
- Homeopathic Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine
Attributed partly to American's growing dissatisfaction with the country's worsening health care system, a er number of patients are seeking alternative methods of healing including Integrative Medicine and Integrative Nutrition. In fact, according to a study done by the American Hospital Association, the number of U.S. hospitals offering integrative medical treatment in addition to conventional treatments have doubled in percentage from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s, from just 8.6 percent in 1998 to nearly 20% by the end of 2004. More hospitals each year are indicating that they plan to incorporate Integrative Medicine and integrative medical professionals in the near future. As such, many health care insurance providers are becoming more knowledgeable about the affects of integrative care, causing these types of treatments to become more and more likely to be reimbursed by insurance companies in the future.
Integrative Medicine Schools and Degrees
For those who want to become part of one of the fastest growing sectors in health care, there has never been a better time to look into a degree in one of the many Integrative Medicine categories. Whether your interest is nutrition, dietetics, homeopathy, naturopathy, massage, fitness or otherwise, be sure to review Nutritionist World's list of over 100 schools and programs across the US and Canada. The demand for integrative Medicine professionals has never been higher and is slated to continue to grow well into the next decade, news for any future graduate.