Every day hundreds of people in Spain are diagnosed with a chronic illness, a problem that is accentuated if we consider the population’s significant ageing. All these people are looking for a better quality of life and less suffering. To achieve this, the best approach is to change the focus and face these realities from the point of view of integrative medicine.
Integrative medicine aims to detoxify the organism and enhance the body’s self-healing and regenerative capacity. Integrative medicine addresses global aspects of the individual in order to improve the quality of life. As we have already mentioned, it is about changing the approach. If we always look at the same thing from one point of view, we fail to explore other perspectives; and most importantly, we ignore factors that could be determining factors.
This article tells you what it consists of and what healthy lifestyle habits related to integrative medicine you can practice to feel more vital.
What is integrative medicine?
This type of medicine encompasses conventional and natural treatment so that the patient has all possible instruments for healing. On the one hand, the potential of natural medicine is not neglected, and on the other hand, the importance of conventional treatment for public health is accepted.
Integrative medicine evaluates global aspects of the person: physiological, psychological, nutritional and social. Addressing all these aspects and proposing treatments that combine conventional and complementary therapies maximises the results. This is why it is also called holistic.
Integrative medicine starts from the point that illness, in most cases, results from bad eating habits, environmental pollution, intoxication by excessive meditation or heavy metals, and emotional stress that weakens the immune system.
Therefore, a primary goal of integrative medicine is to keep the body detoxified and the immune system healthy and robust. This is the most effective way to prevent disease. In that sense, a supplementation is an essential tool of integrative medicine – because of its balancing factor.
Principles of integrative medicine
To answer the question of what integrative medicine is, we could use a very enlightening maxim of Hippocrates: “The function of the physician is sometimes to cure, often to restore health and always to support”. This is the quest of integrative medicine, which is supported by the following fundamental principles:
- He proposes natural and non-invasive medical interventions as far as possible and according to the severity of the patient.
- Consider each patient as unique; two people with the same disease may need different therapies.
- The patient actively collaborates in the process of improving their health.
- The physician collaborates with the patient and investigates and understands the healing and health process to activate the body’s innate healing response.
- It combines conventional and alternative medicine treatments.
- It focuses on prevention and health maintenance. This is why nutrition is a fundamental factor, and supplementation (with essential trace elements for the body such as silica, magnesium, and vitamin C…) plays a key role.
A bit of history
In Europe and the United States, integrative medicine is driven by demand from physicians and patients. In the 1990s, the author of Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America stated that more than 40% of the population turned to alternative therapies and 80% of family doctors wanted to learn about them. In 1991, the government created the Office of Alternative Medicine to conduct scientifically rigorous research into these complementary therapies to improve healthcare. By 2014, the health authorities start certifying new doctors in Integrative Medicine.
In Europe, the origin of this discipline is much older. It dates back to Hippocrates, who believed that therapy should bring together all the habits of human life: diet, exercise, rest, bathing, professional and social activity, etc. This is the birth of medicine; however, it gradually moved away from this holistic vision until it re-emerged, as in the USA, in the 1990s.
Benefits of integrative medicine
Integrative medicine is an excellent aid in the treatment of chronic diseases, as the integrated approach takes the focus off the disease and places the patient at the centre of the treatment. It also offers windows for people whose quality of life is compromised by the symptoms of old age. These are its advantages:
- Positive doctor-patient relationship.
- More significant commitment to treatment on the part of the patient.
- More quality of life.
- Reduction of health expenditure.
Health-promoting habits related to integrative medicine
This new healthcare concept proposes to include nutrition and supplementation with natural active ingredients to reduce traditional medication and even protect us from side effects. Prevention plays an important role here.
However, although traditional medication is sometimes necessary, and we should always respect our doctors’ recommendations, we have many natural remedies at our disposal to solve, mitigate and prevent our health problems. Due to the high concentration of chemicals in many medicines, imbalances can occur in our bodies. That is why opting for a natural solution should be one of our priorities whenever we can.
Here are some healthy habits that we can implement in our daily lives:
- Nutrition: leave aside ultra-processed foods and prioritise fresh foods and probiotics; in short, listen to the body so as not to give it what is harmful to it.
- Supplements: In integrative medicine, supplementation aims to rehabilitate the cells, i.e. the chemical balance of the organism. By supplying the suitable molecule at the right time, biochemical disturbances in the body are regulated, making it possible to treat and prevent disease. This is achieved with natural substances such as vitamins and minerals. Some of the most interesting ones are magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, collagen, omega 3, zinc, and silica… which nourish and balance the organism.
One example of a supplement you can take is G7 Activ+, a capsule product containing a novel source of organic silica that acts in synergy with magnesium and vitamin C. Silica helps balance bone mineralisation; it is one of the body’s essential trace elements and is involved in regenerative processes through the production of repairing collagen and elastin. Optimum levels of this mineral prevent pathologies of the nervous system, tachycardia and arrhythmia, and diseases such as senile dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Perform cleanses to eliminate viable bacteria or fungi that may increase in the body and regulate gut bacteria (necessary for the immune system). These cleanses can be done with natural ingredients, such as grapefruit extract and oregano.
- Exercise and rest accordingly.
- Meditating, taking care of our mental health, working on emotional intelligence…
As you can see, integrative medicine focuses on healthy habits related to diet, physical exercise and mental health to prevent diseases that compromise people’s quality of life. A proposal that adds up and that we hope to see soon in primary care consultations in our country.