My friend and colleague, Andrew Weil, MD, who helped establish Integrative Medicine as a medical field, identifies these core characteristics of Integrative Medicine:
- A partnership between the patient and the practitioner
- Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, disease – including mind, body and spirit
- Use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
- Appropriate consideration given to use of less-invasive and less-harmful interventions, when possible, while addressing the whole person in addition to the disease.
- The concept that medicine is based on good science, is inquiry-driven and open to critical consideration of new paradigms
I feel so fortunate to have been a part of forming this field for the past 45 years, and to still be able to help people this way.