Recently there has been a transition, with many medical professionals choosing to embrace integrative medicine. But, what does integrative medicine involve, and how does it compare to the conventional treatment we are all accustomed to?

Understanding integrative medicine vs. conventional medicine

Put simply, the best way to describe conventional medicine is the treatment of symptoms. For example, you visit the doctor because you are experiencing headaches. The doctor performs a quick consult before prescribing some painkillers and sending you on your way.

Integrative medicine combines the conventional school of thought with a broader need to look at the whole body and determine the cause and contributing factors, rather than just treating the symptom (the pain). Integrative medicine, often called functional or holistic treatment, will deep dive into the bigger picture, considering elements like genetics, environment, lifestyle, nutrition, and sleep patterns to help narrow in on the root of the issue.

In the case of headaches, an integrative approach may uncover that you haven’t been sleeping well, your diet is lacking, and you have back tension – all of which contribute to the headaches. In addition to providing initial symptomatic relief, holistic doctors would pair you with qualified health care providers like a dietitian and osteopath to help you eliminate the issue.