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Friday, Mar 25, 2011
Integrative Medicine and Biomedicine: What’s the Difference?
Posted by Isaac Eliaz of Amitabha Medical Clinic & Healing Center

What is Integrative Medicine and how does it compare to Biomedicine? Integrative Medicine and Biomedicine are both relatively new terms within the field of health and healing; however, Biomedicine appears to be a more recently evolved term, used loosely to describe medical doctors who take nutritional and even naturopathic approaches to treating patients. 

Integrative Medicine is a similar, though more established term within medical science, used to describe doctors who are trained in multiple healing modalities, such as Traditional Chinese, Naturopathic, Holistic, Homeopathic, and Western Allopathic. Both Integrative and Biomedical doctors look at the larger picture of external causes when diagnosing and treating illness, but Integrative healers may take into account mental, emotional and spiritual influences, and take a more widely integrated yet individualized approach to treatment.

Many people view Integrative Medicine as the incorporation of multiple systems and practices of healing, rather than utilizing just one course of treatment, to fight a disease. But the true definition of Integrative Medicine goes much deeper than that. One aspect of Integrative Medicine does indeed include the combination of different therapies for maximum benefit. For a deeper understanding of Integrative Medicine, watch my video at www.dreliaz.org/what-is-integrative-medicine.

But rather than just incorporating an arsenal of separate and non-contraindicated medical systems – such as Allopathic, Traditional Chinese, Naturopathic, etc. – to work side-by-side in a patient to fight their illness, a successful integrative protocol strategically combines specific healing systems, treatment modalities and philosophies to function synergistically together on various levels. This multi-dimensional approach can truly work wonders.  It enhances the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of a patient while simultaneously fighting the disease from multiple angles, thereby providing the patient with greater opportunities for a positive clinical outcome. The use of multiple modalities, targeted herbs and supplements that have been proven to work synergistically within this holistic framework of increased health versus decreased disease, form a key cornerstone of successful Integrative Medicine.

Conventional medicine often focuses on destroying the disease, but at the same time, it may also damage the health of the patient. The main strategic goal of Integrative Medicine is to support a person’s health and vitality while simultaneously fighting the disease.  In Integrative Medicine, the focus is on combining the most appropriate treatments for each individual, taking into account the various environmental, physical and psycho-spiritual factors which need to be addressed. Many times, therapies will include dietary recommendations with focus on additional nutritional supplementation specific to the needs of the patient. These recommendations, based on the overarching principles of proper nutritional support for detoxification, healing and prevention, link Biomedicine and Integrative Medicine together as cutting edge, scientifically-validated branches of medicine and healing. As research continues on the importance of healthy, balanced nutrition and the benefits offered by specific dietary supplements, Biomedicine and Integrative Medicine will expand the scope and influence of their comprehensive, safe and effective strategies for healing and wellness. For more valuable health information, visit www.dreliaz.org.

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