I recently listened to a Teaching Company course on Holistic Integrated Medicine. I can recommend both The Teaching Company and this course to you, The Science of Natural Healing, by Professor Mimi Guarneri. Yet, the more I hear about or read about “Integrated Medicine,” the more I realize that there is little agreement about exactly what we are talking about. There is some agreement, of course, but what exactly is being agreed to?
Well, in doctor medical circles it appears to mean quite a bit about diet change, switching over to a new kind of eating routine, more vegetarian, more whole organic foods, more seeing food as medicine and so on. Given the current state of the general American diet and what it is doing to the health of Americans, it is appropriate that something else is in order.
And beyond that, at “integrated” health centers around the country, whether at university medical centers or simply at new integrated health centers, different kinds of practitioners practice next to one another, acupuncturists or massage therapists of various stripes or yoga instructors or meditation teachers or chiropractors supplementing doctors, in one or another office, different kinds of practitioners are working together. And, depending on the locale, you will see a different mix depending on the preferences of the administrator in charge or the practitioners themselves.
But is this Integrated Medicine? Well, it certainly is different that what went on in medicine in the U.S.A. for a very long time, a kind of mono-medicine. And then, different kinds of practices came along and they were called “alternative medicine,” and now, there is the beginning of working together. But is it integrated together? What does that mean? Does it just mean, a collection of medical practices under one roof? Has this melting pot of diverse practices melted and melded into something greater?
Listening to Professor Guarneri, reading Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, and some others, I am not sure we are much past a beginning stage of a very long process of integrating medicines — the very early beginning.
I will be sending blogs along here and there about how I believe we can substantially move this process along. I believe there is a medicine of the future, hopefully the more immediate future, that is a world medicine taking medicines from around the world and synchronizing them together into a single integrated medicine.