Thursday, 8 May 2014



A recent item in Conductive World reminded that, in the long process of getting 'recognised', CE might learn useful lessons from the experience of the CAMs (complementary and alternative medicines):

This mentioned the emerging concept of 'integrative medicine'. The following working definitions may prove useful, or at least heuristic. They came from an overview article by natural health and wellness mentor Lorinder Weatherall from Ontario, drawn from her recent book Integrative Healing –
In an effort to establish some common ground these are the working definitions for the terms Alternative, Complementary and Integrative. Please understand that these are broad generalizations.
  • Alternative is defined: noun - any of a range of medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession, such as herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture, naturopathy, and crystal healing (old term);
  • Complementary: noun - any of a range of medical therapies that fall beyond the scope of conventional medicine but may be used alongside it in the treatment of disease and ill health. Examples include acupuncture and osteopathy. (current term);
  • Integrative - adjective - serving or intending to unify separate things: Medicine combining allopathic and complementary therapies: a database for the integrative physician. (evolving term).
The older term Alternative Medicine seems to apply to hippies, tree-huggers, granola-eaters, those who wear socks with Birkenstocks kind of people. You know, the weird ones. These kinds of folks have a tendency to disregard, and use these other forms of healthcare instead of, Allopathic medicine.
The current term of Complementary is applying to folks who use both types of healthcare. These folks may not disclose to their current Allopathic healthcare provider that they are seeking treatment from a Chiropractor, Naturopath, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner, Massage Therapist or Energy Therapist, for fear of ridicule or being terminated as a patient. This type of patient/client may go to the Allopathic provider to get diagnostic tests or referrals to a specialist, then take a copy of this data to their Complementary Practitioner to get a second opinion and/or work out a treatment plan.
Now comes the exciting part, the evolving term of Integrative Medicine is where the Allopathic medicine provider is trained in some of the Complementary Modalities, such as Acupuncture and TCM...

Ms Weatherall's articles also offers some useful links and references, and some practical pointers.


Sutton, A. (2014) Research can pay dividends: experience from the CAMs: consider 'integrative medicine', Conductive World, 20 March
Weatherall, L. (2013) Integrative Healing: Merging with Modern Medicine, Ayni Books

Weatherall, L. (2014) Integrative Healing: practical guide to professionalism, Positive Health Online: Integrate Medicine for the 21st Century, no 214, May

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