An integrative approach to health and wellness emphasizes a holistic, relationship-centered focus on the patient, the practitioner and the healing environment. In contrast to a specialized treatment model often seen in traditional medical clinics where the focus is on one organ system or one cluster of symptoms, integrative medicine is a therapeutic approach that focuses on the whole individual—often including mental, emotional, functional, spiritual, psychosocial aspects of one’s current physical and mental health issues. It also aims for well-coordinated care between different providers that offer evidence-based “complementary health” approaches, such as acupuncture, massage, tai chi, meditation, and yoga.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the Federal Government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. NCCIH was formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Designed to reveal what types of patients seek services at integrative medicine clinics and what problems these patients wish to solve, BraveNet's first study, which involved approximately 4000 patients, was completed in 2008. The manuscript — Patients Seek Integrative Medicine for Preventive Approach to Optimize Health — was published in the November/December 2012 issue of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing.