Integrative Medicine

The social patient network CureTogether reported in February the results of study among 227 people who rated 31 treatments for bipolar disorder. It is one of the first such studies that blend social media, patient-stated outcomes with integrated therapy options.

“Patients rate regimented sleep, reduced alcohol, and exercise as helpful for their symptoms, as well as yoga, mindfulness meditation, and Lamictal*.” (more…)


Duke Integrative Medicine director Adam Perlman
on this transformational clinical healing and wellness model

In the following audio interview link with Frank Stacio, host of “The State of Things” at public radio WUNC in Charlotte, Duke Integrative Medicine director Adam Perlman explains the current state, underlying principles and clinical application of integrative medicine in one of the most lucid explanations of the subject that I have come across.

Follow this link to the audio (45 minutes, and well worth it) (more…)

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…)

Contentious spring blasts by Forbes, The Economist
Offset by careful analysis in Atlantic Monthly.

I don’t know what happened earlier this year to draw the attention of the mainstream media to integrative medicine, but the subject has been batted around this spring among Forbes, The Economist — both of which expressed caustic disbelief that integrative medicine provides any benefit, and the Atlantic Monthly, which probes deeply into the sources for that disbelief to find that conventional medicine is broadly embracing integrative approaches. (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.

French Hospital MC
San Luis Obispo, CA

As the following example illustrates, the public is increasingly being presented with examples of the use of integrative medicine practices with conventional treatments for conditions like cancer in sessions like this hosted by a local hospital like French Hospital Medical Center.

Of interest in this presentation is the participation of a medical oncologist from a conventional cancer treatment center, a naturopathic physician (ND), a chef/nutritionist, as well as a survivor.


Efforts by US businesses to contain their health costs have become noteworthy in large part due to incentive programs that intend to reward employees for altering their lifestyles.  A lesser-known aspect of these trends is the evolution of health services provided in business settings that have adopted the thinking and approaches characterized by integrative medicine practices.

These transitions are well described in a recent report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Workplace Clinics: A Sign of Growing Employer Interest in Wellness.”

It observes:

The focus has shifted largely to health promotion, wellness, and an array of primary care services, rather than occupational health or convenience care.


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