Integrative Preventive Medicine

Integrative Preventive Medicine (Weil Integrative Medicine Library) 1st Edition

Medical practices that were not part of conventional, Western medicine, have been part of all health systems, from the time that Western medicine was itself “complementary and alternative” to Ayurveda in 19th- century India. The division increased after the formalization of professional guilds in the 17th century and the Flexner Report in 1916 that established the domination of a more reductionist prevention and disease management system.1,2 These practices have been described with a variety of terms including “irregular medicine,” “unconventional,” “nonmainstream,” “unorthodox,” “quackery,” “folk,” “alternative,” “complementary,” and “adjunctive.” In the last 20 years, the terms “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and, more recently, “integrative medicine” (IM) have emerged. While, CAM and IM are the latest terms for practices that are not generally accepted by the dominant medical culture, what has now been included under the term “integrative medicine” has expanded to include many practices already accepted in conventional preventive medicine, such a nutrition, smoking cessation, and physical activity. In addition, IM seeks not only to deliver CAM and conventional practices but also to coordinate their use in such a way as to maximize the benefit they each bring to the prevention and treatment of illness. Thus, integrative preventive medicine (IPM) is the coordinated delivery of evidence- based, conventional and CAM medical practices for the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of disease and illness. What can we learn from this evolution for the future of healthcare? What might IPM look like in design and delivery?

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