Natural Healing with Medical Treatment
In a nutshell, integrated medicine is a marriage between two divergent communities – natural healing and scientific medicine – both working toward the same goal. Your health.
The term “Integrated Health” was first promoted in 1993 when Prince Charles set up his charity, ‘The Foundation for Integrated Health’. In the US, both Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil have popularised the concept of Integrated Medicine, yet despite such high profile support, the controversy between the scientific community and natural healing proponents is as strong as ever.
Science vs Natural Healing
Science and intuition are about as compatible as oil and water. Scientific minds are hard to influence without hard scientific evidence, and rational discussion will not necessarily sway people who operate primarily on intuition. However, there is a middle ground where both may accept the reasoning of the contrary viewpoint and remain open to further exploration of anecdotal or small study evidence.
Modern Medicine and Natural Healing Methods
One commentator who has summed up the issues well is Arnold Relman, a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine:
“There is no doubt that modern medicine as it is now practiced needs to improve its relations with patients, and that some of the criticisms leveled against it by people such as Weil (and by many more within the medical establishment itself) are valid. There also can be no doubt that a few of the “natural” medicines and healing methods now being used by practitioners of alternative medicine will prove, after testing, to be safe and effective. This, after all, has been the way in which many important therapeutic agents and treatments have found their way into standard medical practice in the past. Mainstream medicine should continue to be open to the testing of selected unconventional treatments. In keeping an open mind, however, the medical establishment must not lose its scientific compass or weaken its commitment to rational thought and the rule of evidence.”
“There are not two kinds of medicine, one conventional and the other unconventional; there is just the medicine that works to heal the patient, whatever the classification of its roots. This can be termed a new kind of “integrative medicine.”
In the best kind of medical practice, all proposed treatments must be tested objectively. In the end, there will only be treatments that pass that test, those that do not, those that are proven worthwhile and those that are not. Can there be any reasonable “alternative”?”