Integrative Medicine: How Do We Begin?

By JoAnn Tall, LAc

Integrative medicine seems to be a big buzzword lately. It is truly wonderful that there seems to be genuine interest on every level for combining complementary or alternative therapies with standard Western medicine. Hospitals, Western medical teaching institutions, cancer centers, and many other health care facilities realize the need for even a basic understanding and merging of these therapies with traditional health care.

There is a wonderful group of educators tackling this problem. The National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care is comprised of educators from the most prestigious educational institutions and of the highest standards of excellence in their own fields. They are searching for the soul of health care education and have established a set of goals, including:

  • To support development of inter-institutional relationships.
  • To create collaboratively developed educational resources on all disciplines.
  • To develop a statement of shared values.
  • To make available educational resources to assist educators in creating quality integrative health care education.

I was honored recently with an invitation to join the group's values project. I have been amazed, even in the short time I have been involved, at the depth and degree of professional investigation the group has conducted into this valuable area. You can keep up with this process and the subject of integrative medicine by going to the Web site

This coming decade will bring many changes for health care. I am holding tight to my personal vision of a health care system that is available to all and that offers many diverse and complementary avenues of healing, encompassing body, mind and spirit.

Please include me in your discussions about our health care for the future. I welcome all comments and discussion.

Click here for previous articles by JoAnn Tall, LAc.

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