The Peterson Group has been researching and reviewing facts and information regarding the effectiveness of alternative medicines which led us to acquaintance with integrative medicine. We have gathered the following facts so far:
To fully appreciate integrative medicine, Registered Dieticians or RDs need to understand two terms: conventional medicine, and CAM. CAM is methods of medicine which never underwent scientific method to prove their effectives. On the other hand, conventional medicine usually is what patients encounter when they visit a hospital, physician’s office, or clinic. It encompasses high-tech procedures, surgery, and pharmaceuticals to treat health conditions and diseases.
Somewhere between alternative medicine and conventional medicine lies integrative medicine. As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), integrative medicine “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.” Like many physicians who practice integrative medicine, Andrew Weil, MD, founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, takes the philosophy one step further by saying on his website, “Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.”
Any RD counseling a patient today typically covers the fundamentals of nutrition: macronutrients, micronutrients, energy expenditure, and food labels. The idea of integrative or holistic nutrition, however, goes deeper and explores the idea that the proper food and diet can help heal the body physically and emotionally. Some components include the following: