As a doctor, I was successful in integrating some complementary approaches into my medical practice that satisfied the needs of many patients, including those who were unable to be helped by the traditional system. Why should people facing pain and suffering not have alternative sources of healing? People have already been searching outside the system and paying out of their own pockets for alternative treatments.
While some hospitals and clinics are now putting out banners for integrative medicine and offering acupuncture, massage, nutrition, and other treatments, they are doing so without being taught about them in medical school as part of an integrative model for medicine. Acupuncture, for example, has been accepted on the basis of its use in pain management and stimulation of endorphins, but without regard for the basic concepts of the five elements and ch’i in Chinese medicine. While naturopathic doctors are trained in natural medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, and other natural remedies, they typically use an allopathic and Western philosophy-based approach.
In order to be successful in implementing integrative medicine, it will be necessary to address the following five main challenges.
Challenge 1: The current healthcare crisis and unsustainable rising healthcare costs.
Solution 1: Provide alternative protocols, particularly for people who cannot afford surgery or pharmaceuticals.
Challenge 3: Limited view of human anatomy which considers only the visible physical anatomy.
Solution 3: Establish recognition of an expanded view of the anatomy of a human body by providing the scientific basis for understanding the mind-body connection and subtle energy fields.
Integrative medicine is not just a new cosmetic name for complementary alternative medicine; that term should also imply the premise of inclusion of conventional medicine. The responsibility for medical universities in the future will be to include in their curriculum the essential knowledge of a more complex understanding of the fabric of the reality of the human being, one based on an understanding of the science of quantum physics and a philosophy of potential versus fatality.