Integrative medicine got a boost of greater public awareness — and funding — after a landmark 1993 study. The study showed that one in three Americans had used alternative therapy. In the past decade, large integrative facilities have opened across the country. Examples include Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and the Duke Center of Integrative Medicine. According to the American Hospital Association, the percentage of U.S. hospitals that offer complementary therapies has more than doubled in less than a decade, from 8.6% in 1998 to almost 20% in 2004. Another 24% of hospitals said they planned to add complementary therapies in the future.
A 2001 Harvard Medical School survey highlighted the fact that at least 68% of adults in the U.S. have utilized at least one form of alternative or complementary medicine and that integrative medicine is indeed here to stay, not simply a waning fad.
As people continue to tire of the “same old, same old” when it comes to conventional care, the percentage seeking alternative care options will continue to increase. Common frustrations driving the trend towards seeking integrative options include dissatisfaction with the current health care system that often leaves doctors feeling rushed and overwhelmed and patients feeling as if they’re nothing more than diseased organs or damaged joints, who only receive a measly two minutes with the doctor. Integrative medicine promises more time, more attention, and a broader approach to healing — one not solely based on the Western biomedical model, but also draws from other cultures and ancient, proven modalities such as botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care.
“Patients want to be considered whole human beings in the context of their world,” says Esther Sternberg, MD, a National Institutes of Health senior scientist and this could not be more true. People are starting to realize that they do have health care options and they are willing to step outside of the box in order to take advantage.
He goes on to say “doctors and patients alike are bonding with the philosophy of integrative medicine and its whole-person approach — designed to treat the person, not just the disease. IM, as it’s often called, depends on a partnership between the patient and the doctor, where the goal is to treat the mind, body, and spirit, all at the same time. While some of the therapies used may be nonconventional, a guiding principle within integrative medicine is to use therapies that have high-quality evidence to support them”.
Whether you need musculoskeletal care, through comprehensive chiropractic care or massage therapy, nutrition counseling, lifestyle counseling, natural medicine, or preventive care, Atlanta Chiropractic & Wellness Center is an integrative one stop shop. Call for your appointment today!