The Power of Holistic Health
National study shows integrative medicine is effective in treating common and costly health conditions
A new survey of 29 integrative medicine centers around the U.S. found that 75 percent reported success using integrative practices to treat chronic pain and more than half reported positive results for gastrointestinal conditions, depression and anxiety, cancer and chronic stress.
The results of the survey, Integrative Medicine in America: How Integrative Medicine Is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States, are being released today by The Bravewell Collaborative.
“What we have seen in our clinics over the past 14 years is that more and more people are turning to integrative therapies to help them with health problems,” says William Stewart, MD, the co-founder and Medical Director of California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute for Health and Healing. “This survey shows that for many patients, particularly those with chronic health issues, the multidimensional team approach of integrative medicine works.”
“With chronic health issues costing the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion a year, it’s essential to find the most effective ways to treat and prevent the most prevalent conditions,” said Donald Abrams, MD, co-author of the report and professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco.
Integrative medicine is an approach that puts the patient at the center of care and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect health. Employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, integrative medicine uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regain and maintain optimal health.
Twenty-nine integrative medicine centers, – including CPMC’s Institute for Health and Healing, part of the Sutter Health network – were surveyed by The Bravewell Collaborative. All participating centers were affiliated with hospitals, health systems and/or medical and nursing schools. Patient services include adult care (100% of those surveyed), geriatric care (97%), adolescent care (86%), OB-GYN care (72%), pediatric care (62%) and end-of-life care (66%). Findings from the report, which evaluated trends in prevention and wellness, patient outcomes, and emerging norms of care and reimbursement, suggest that the practice of integrative medicine offers promise for increasing the effectiveness of care and improving people’s health.
The interventions prescribed most frequently by practitioners in the study, usually in combination, were: food/nutrition, supplements, yoga, meditation, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, massage and pharmaceuticals.
“It’s important to remember that these therapies are often used in conjunction with other medical approaches, such as chemotherapy and/or surgery,” says Dr. Stewart. “At the IHH we work with each patient and their other caregivers to come up with an approach that is best suited for them. Our care integrates traditional and contemporary healing practices.”
“This report illustrates the great potential of integrative medicine to help prevent illness and foster lifelong health,” explained Christy Mack, President of The Bravewell Collaborative. “These approaches not only treat the whole person but also empower individuals to be active participants in their health care.”
Participating Integrative Medicine Centers
- Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine
- Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
- Cancer Treatment Centers of America
- The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Colorado
- Center for Life University of New Mexico
- Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine
- Continuum Center for Health and Healing
- Duke Integrative Medicine
- 11th Street Family Services of Drexel University
- GW Center for Integrative Medicine
- Greenwich Hospital Integrative Medicine Program
- Institute for Health & Healing at California Pacific Medical Center
- Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine
- Marino Center for Integrative Health
- University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine
- Integrative Medicine Program, Mayo Clinic
- Integrative Medicine Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Northwestern Integrative Medicine
- OSU Center for Integrative Medicine
- UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
- Osher Clinical Center
- Penny George Institute for Health and Healing
- Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
- Simms-Mann Health and Wellness Center at Venice Family Clinic
- Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness at Stamford Hospital
- Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine
- Susan Samueli Center of Integrative Medicine
- University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine
- Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health