There is much talk today about "Holistic Medicine", "A Comprehensive Approach", "Health Centers" and "Alternative Medicine" - Although most of these trends are laudable health care options, most of them are just as fragmented as our allopathic health care system.
Integrated Medicine is not the coexistence of two or more modalities (such as massage, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture or hypnosis), lined up like a menu for patients to choose from, or for a Center Director to prescribe. A summation of "Alternative Therapies" does not deliver holistic care. For holism to occur, the physician needs to have integrated the care he/she delivers as a whole within him/herself and unto their patients, viewed as a "wholesome" being.
Integrated Medicine cannot be delivered by a lineup of health care providers with different skills (such as a Physician, Massage therapist, Acupuncturist, Past Life Regression Therapist, Psychic, Physical Therapist, Homeopath).
Integrated Medicine can only be practiced by someone trained simultaneously in Eastern and Western medicine, with the ability to integrate concepts from the two major medical systems, and who is capable of diagnosing and treating illness within a third framework, resulting from the merge of the two.
We must aim at building bridges between these two systems, with an emphasis on developing educational and research tools to increase mutual understanding, and maximize the synergistic benefits of a combined approach to healing.
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