The Integrative Medicine Department at Highlands Hospital combines evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine with traditional or western medicine. “Integrative Medicine” thus refers to the synergistic blending of these two distinct types of care providing a more holistic approach to healing.
Integrative Medicine therapies are based on the body’s innate ability to heal itself. The focus is on the whole person- physical, emotional social and spiritual. Integrative Medicine involves nurturing touch, sensitive listening, comforting environment and social networking.
A partnership between patient/client and practitioner is essential to the healing process. We are the coach and facilitator but the driving force to heal comes from the heart of each individual. Integrative Medicine empowers each person with the skills to be in charge of his/her own health care.
The program at Highlands Hospital is designed to be gentle yet powerful using learned techniques to deal with stress and negative emotions. A few of the modalities that we use are breathing techniques, progressive relaxation and guided imagery, bio-energy techniques, music therapy, and drum circles.
Integrative Medicine combines the best available in Health Care to obtain optimum results by maximizing the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Via the fusion of the best in conventional western medicine, evidence-based complementary medicine and other therapies within current mainstream health practice, Integrative Medicine aims in restoring, sustaining and advancing one’s health. Integrative Medicine considers all aspects of the patients’ wellbeing with specific emphasis given to the patients physical, chemical and emotional spheres. Integrative Medicine focus is always to apply the most suitable, safe and evidence – based treatments currently available. These include but not limited to: Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Naturopathy.
Currently worldwide research is being carried out to explore the potential benefits of Integrative Health in pain management, relief of symptoms in acute /chronic suffering patients and programs to promote healthy lifestyle.
Integrative medicine is not the same as alternative medicine, which refers to an approach of healing that is utilised in place of conventional therapies. Integrative medicine refers to using healing modalities that complement allopathic approaches. Health Care can be Integrative regardless of which modality is used. Strategies are used to consider the patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances; using the most appropriate evidenced based interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to rectify illness and disease whilst assisting the patient in regaining and maintaining optimum health.
Natural Products such as probiotics, vitamins, minerals and herbs are also utilised in Integrative Medicine to assist in the process of attaining and maintaining optimum health.
The defining principals include but not limited to:
• All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration, including community, mind, body and spirit.
• Practitioners use modalities and assessments to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
• Interventions that are natural and less invasive are used where possible
• Medicine is grounded on evidence-based science.
• Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concept of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount
• The patient care is personalised to best address the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
In addition to addressing the immediate health problem(s) as well as the deeper causes of the disease or illness, Integrative Medicine strategies also focus on the prevention and foster the development of healthy behaviours and skills for effective self-care the patients can apply throughout their lives. Ultimately making patients independent rather than co-dependant on care the rest of their lives.