Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that emphasizes patient-centered care and the importance of the physician/practitioner – patient relationship. Its focus is on the whole person, rather than segmented areas, and makes use of a multitude of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and healing disciplines to achieve recovery from illness and restoration of optimal health. However, it is not just a smorgasbord of mixing and matching conventional and “alternative” medicine modalities, but rather a mindset that approaches the complex health problems of patients in a significantly different way. It is not satisfied with just the amelioration of symptoms, but rather attempts to get to root causes by looking at underlying contributing factors, including, but not limited to, nutritional deficiencies/excesses, biochemical/metabolic imbalances, allergies/sensitivities, toxic overload/burden (including heavy metals and chemicals), and psychosocial stress. It considers genomics, patient past history, family history, antecedent triggers and the concept of imbalance in multiple systems, including neuroendocrine, immune and psychological areas. It employs an individualized, multifactorial treatment approach to deal with the challenges of, and the pathways to, rebalancing these systems, and thereby restore health and vitality.
Kenneth A. Bock, MD