True integrative approaches work on a matrix of horizontals and verticals.
Horizontals are components of a person’s mind-body-spirit complex, such as the thoughts, emotions, symptoms, values, experiences and preferences.
Verticals are whole systems of medicine, such as conventional or western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Naturopathy etc.
A qualified Integrative Medicine practitioner attempts to identify, through available evidence, least invasive and least intense techniques from the available set of Verticals to ensure the patient’s health and wellbeing by addressing selected components from the patient’s Horizontals.
Since integrative approaches are the least intensive and least invasive by design, and since they place a premium on the body’s innate ability to heal, many approaches can be inculcated into a habit, leading to better health outcomes even after the symptoms have abated. This is why, Integrative Medicine is extremely well suited to health promotion and disease prevention.