|The Integrative Medicine Wheel is a practical tool for introducing the concept of integrative medicine
to health care practitioners and the lay public. It graphically illustrates
the spectrum of modalities comprised by the field of integrative medicine.
It's purpose is to inspire dialog about treatment options for a given health
condition, and complementary relationships among them.
This principle of complementarity is at the heart of integrative medicine. An abundance of research shows
that integrating multiple forms of medicine together in an organized way
can be more effective than relying on any one approach by itself. For example:
The mounting research in this field tells
us that virtually all health conditions can benefit from an integrative
approach. However, there is also evidence that certain combinations of
therapies should be avoided. For example, some herbs can block the effects
of certain drugs while other herbs can enhance or exaggerate them. The
wise use of integrative medicine requires a balanced understanding of complementarities
- Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and
surgery have reduced side effects, faster recovery, and improved survival
rates when they combine these treatments with massage, mind/body medicine,
herbal medicine, and nutritional medicine.
- Heart disease patients can halt and even
reverse their disease process when they integrate mind/body medicine, nutritional
medicine, lifestyle and behavior change with their regular treatment.
- People with chronic fatigue syndrome and
fibromyalgia can reduce their symptoms and improve their odds of recovery
with the combined use of mind/body medicine, nutritional medicine, lifestyle
and behavior change, and pharmaceutical drugs.
- There is experimental evidence that antibiotic
drugs to which bacteria have become resistant may have renewed effectiveness
when combined with certain herbs.
The eight forms of medicine on The
Integrative Medicine Wheel are described as follows:
An integrative approach involves a thoughtful
inquiry into the benefits of each of these forms of treatment for a given
health condition. Priorities are set after careful consideration of their relative contributions, their complementarities, and any
potential conflicts between modalities.
- Mind/body Medicine uses the pathways
of communication between mind and body to promote physical health. Methods
include imagery, relaxation training, biofeedback, meditation, hypnosis,
hypnotherapy, autogenic training, psychotherapy, and group therapy.
- Energy Medicine works with the energy
system of the body, or treats with energies introduced from outside. Methods
include acupuncture, homeopathy, energy-based touch therapies (Therapeutic
Touch, Healing Touch, Reiki), qi gong (chi kung), breath therapies (pranayama,
transformational breath work), spiritual healing, flower essences, magnetic
therapies, and electrical stimulation.
- Manipulative Therapies use the physical
manipulation of soft tissue or the musculoskeletal system to promote healing.
Methods include chiropractic, osteopathy, massage therapy, bodywork, physical
therapy and hydrotherapy.
- Surgery includes all invasive surgical
- Pharmaceutical Drugs includes all
forms of synthetic drugs, prescription and over-the-counter.
- Herbal Medicine includes Western
herbs, Chinese Herbs, Ayurvedic herbs, and aromatherapy.
- Nutritional Medicine includes specific
dietary therapies and nutritional supplementation.
- Lifestyle & Behavior includes
general eating habits, work habits, stress reduction, self-healing practices,
exercise, rest, sleep, intimate relationships, social support and spiritual
Integrative medicine is not a matter
of trying to do everything all at once -- not indiscriminately "throwing
in everything and the kitchen sink". An individual's plan is tailored which
follows the priorities while also taking into account the person's unique
circumstances and resources, so that he or she is most likely to follow
FOR MORE INFORMATION...
Dr. Collinge is available to speak to
professional groups and the lay public on the emerging paradigm of integrative
health care. Contact him directly to discuss details.