Integrative Medicine


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.
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The Truth is In There: Mining for Integrative Medicine Outcomes

Consumer and practitioner demand may accelerate CAM inclusion in the inpatient settings, and hospital leadership should be … prepared to engage their constituencies regarding its place within the healthcare delivery construct.

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Newly blended collaborations on the integrative health landscape:

  • MD Anderson: $4.5 mm for study of Yoga and Cancer
  • Greenwhich (CT) Hospital: Healing Touch brings faster recuperation
  • Review of 14-years of research shows benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi

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On Nov. 9  I had the opportunity to participate in a symposium that had the feeling of a seminal moment for the integrative health community. The “Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) Stakeholder Symposium” held in Baltimore focused on changes now underway that may well redefine how evidence is defined in medical research. The trend has evolved over the last decade, independently of the growth of integrative practice. It has come about largely because of dissatisfaction with the results of narrowly constructed but long accepted traditional research methodologies (i.e., random controlled trials).

As a result, in the next two years, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) will be channeling $800 million into a formal program for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

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And Its Confluence with Integrative Medicine, Outcomes and the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act

SM_logosIn the last 24 months, the rapid of adoption of social media elements by organizations of all kinds has started to gather up hospitals, where Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and flickr are becoming the engagement tools of choice.

Apart from reaching hospitals via those social media paragons, consumers have long been using web-based online support groups or patient communities, some designed for mutual support (“Pregnancy & Parenting Support”), others organized around research or clinical trials (“The Children’s Inn at NIH”), all of them completely patient-centric.

The rationale for these actions is by now simple to understand: the number of people using social media sites is huge and growing. The children of Baby (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…)

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