Integrative Health

NCCAM Director
Josephine Briggs

In the last couple of years, NCCAM has gradually developed its web site to be more responsive to public interest in CAM and integrative medicine. In May it took another step and launched a blog written by director Josephine Briggs, MD. Readers may make comments on each post, which are reviewed before being added.

In her post of May 24, “Integrative”—What Is in a Word?
Briggs focuses on a topic of signal importance as the field begins to become far more integrated with and understood by convention practice and therapy: the definition of “integrative medicine.” (more…)


Integrators at Work: Jeremy McCarthy, Starwood Hotels

Jeremy McCarthy manages the worldwide spas of Starwood Hotels, where he works, as his Twitter bio says “…at the intersection of wellness, positive psychology and hospitality.”

He also writes a very insightful personal blog, The Psychology of Wellbeing
in which he draws on wide range of current developments in personal health, wellness and healing approaches and the science behind them. (more…)

US Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa has been the primary Congressional paladin for the integrative medicine and prevention and wellness community since the early 1990’s, when he personally cajoled the Congress to create the Office of Alternative Medicine. In the subsequent 20 years, integrative therapies, modalities, and approaches to care have become far more accepted across the conventional care landscape, including in hospitals and care facilities and in medical schools.

Here Harkin addresses attendees of the April 2011 iMosaic Conference in Minneapolis, and brings viewers up to date on this journey, describing where the Affordable Care Act defines integrative health practices and the major initiative to advance a National Prevention Strategy in which integrative practices can play an important role.

One of the few real advances in the Affordable Care Act — in terms of actual therapeutic benefits — was the inclusion of the professions embodied in the term “integrative health practitioner” in the nation’s healthcare workforce.  Adoption of this wording reflects the reality that millions of consumers have been choosing health and wellness services and those therapies are finding wider acceptance in conventional medical settings and in the military health system.

Now that the wording is in the legislation, the adherents are moving the to address a slight shortcoming:  “integrative health practice” needs a standard definition.

We said we are going to be a community center for well being.

Not your father's hospital meal

So begins the video below of Gerard van Grisven, CEO of Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield Michigan, describing the astonishing institutional commitment to nutrition and all natural food that his hospital has made to his patients and staff, but also to the wider community.  As in: no fryers, no freezers.  Served in part by a local farm.   But there is far more than that. (more…)

IMG-Rpt-coverThe Institute of Medicine today released its long awaited report on the Summit on Integrative Medicine and Health of the Public that was held in Washington in February of 2009. While this report does not contain action steps for the IOM itself, it is a very thorough account of the sentiments expressed by the leaders of the nation’s integrative health community during that auspicious three day conference.

The Summit was co-produced by the Bravewell Collaborative, which is holding a dinner in Washington this evening to mark the report’s release.   Bravewell CEO Christy Mack said in a statement released today, “We have to start valuing and paying for health,” which is a sentiment that was powerfully demonstrated in the stories and presentations heard at the Summit. (more…)