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Integrative medicine is simply defined as simultaneous treatment of mind, body and spirit. Estimates from the early 1990s claim about 8 percent of American hospitals utilized integrative medicine. According to the American Hospital Association, the number of hospitals offering integrative medicine doubled by 2005.
Alternative approaches used to conventional medicine have included yoga, fitness, herbals and Tai chi. Like conventional medicine, the practitioner community is receptive to implementing complementary approaches based on solid substantial evidence that attests to its effectiveness. Sources affirm integrative medicine has made its imprint on conventional medicine and continues to garner receptivity by patients and primary care providers alike.
Integrative medicine is complementary to conventional medicine. It is not a means of replacement for treatment modalities. Furthermore, integrative medicine is aimed at treating the whole person not disease or illness only. An exercise and nutrition regimen may be prescribed to address a high lipid panel. A generic herbal may be a drug trial used compared to a prescribed anti-lipid agent such as Zocor or Lipitor for instance. Thus, exercise along with nutrition and prescribed herbal show conventional and integrative medicine acting seamlessly to treat high cholesterol.
One alternative that has been around for some time is milk thistle seeds. There are several applications providing milk thistle seed benefits:
- Cooking and baking: Said to taste similarly to a combination of hemp and flax seed, milk thistle can be added to salads, shakes and entres for flavor.
- Milk thistle seeds are estimated to have 25 percent protein.
- Milk thistle is best known as a restorative to the liver with antioxidant agents within the active compound.
- Manufacturers have taken steps to remove unwanted extras such as pebbles or dirt.
The use of ozone therapies, common in Europe, has been implemented by US clinics with caution and measures in place for those to whom it is administered. This therapy adjunctive treats cancer, slipped disk, and eye disease primarily macular degeneration. Administered with established controls aids the body in utilizing readily natural oxidants to combat disease. Intravenous administration may cause detrimental or fatal side effects.
Another new complement is stem cells knee. In January 2013, Science Daily reported Rush University was to embark on the use of a drug called Cartistem to aid in the treatment of degenerative knee conditions. Orthopedic medicine recognized that arthroscopy, joint replacement and drug therapy achieved only adequate success rates.