Traditionally, behavioral health treatment providers have treated substance abuse and mental illnesses as specifically separate conditions that are solely a substance or mental disorder. However, it has been recognized that substance abuse and mental health issues rarely occur alone. To adequately treat behavioral health conditions, including substance use disorders and mental illnesses, providers have recognized the grave need for integrative medicine to help people overcome these conditions.
Integrative medicine which is defined as “an approach to the practice of medicine that makes use of the best-available evidence taking into account the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle” by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, has recently gained popularity as a promising solution to the mental health care crisis in the United States.
Usually quoted as a mind-body medicine, Integrative medicine has gained much attention over the past several decades and has been a topic of rigorous research. Numerous clinical interventions been documenting the mental and emotional demands of a person.
What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine is not only healing-oriented; it is also a client-oriented therapeutic approach that uses both conventional and alternative medicine for the treatment of mental illnesses. Integrative medicine also focuses on understanding the personality and lifestyle of those struggling and helps them develop a change to address their chronic diseases. The strategy mainly involves nutritional interventions, stress reduction, moderate exercise, and the development of greater love, intimacy and emotional wellbeing aimed to mitigate or even reverse the progression of chronic diseases.
These programs have been successful in clinical trials for patients suffering from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer, etc. Moreover, it has also been shown to benefit brain function, increase the possibility for longevity and down-regulated genes that build up the disease.
Integrative medicine generally involves a face to face consultation which could cut cost on treatment and allow more people to afford it. Nearly one-third of today’s population who are seeking help are choosing complimentary medicine, with no real guidance because they cannot afford actual help. Furthermore, this field of medicine integrates conventional allopathic medical approach with modalities and acknowledges the physical, emotional, and spiritual demands of the patient.
Also known as complementary medicine or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), integrated medicine includes activities such as meditation, nutritional supplements, acupuncture and massage. “Energy” therapies like Reiki, qigong, energy psychology and healing touch are also extensively used to treat mental health issues.
In 2005, the Consortium of Academic Health Centre for Integrative Medicine defined integrative medicine as follows: “The practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health-care professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.”
Treatment at AKUA Mind and body
Integrative medicine includes customized treatment to best address a patient’s unique needs, conditions, and position. Practitioners of integrative medicine provide clients with its fundamentals in order to create a sense of self-development and progression in order to alleviate their substance and/or mental disorder.
If you or someone you know is dealing with any mental issue, contact us at AKUA Mind & Body
Our clinical team understands that focusing solely on mental health can help one recover from their life-estranging mental health problems. Our clinicians understand that everyone is different and will respond to treatment differently, which is why at AKUA, we personally work with each patient and develop a program that will be successful to them.