India, with its rich history in Ayurveda, is no stranger to Integrative Medicine. It would be safe to state that a majority of Indians use either traditional approaches alone or a mix of traditional and conventional approaches for disease prevention and cure.
However, even globally, more people than ever are opting for Integrative Medicine. According to WHO, 170 of its member states have acknowledged the use of Integrative Medicine. According to an NHIS survey in 2017, more than 14% of American adults use Yoga and Meditation for disease prevention and cure.
Therefore, individuals are now not only more informed about integrative approaches to health and well-being, but are actively seeking such approaches for themselves.
Since it is an emerging field globally, there isn’t sufficient clinical research data available on the safety and efficacy of integrative approaches for all diseases. That said, there is research underway at various institutions around the world and in India. Moreover, studies and clinical experience have shown that integrative approaches can be more useful in managing chronic conditions and improving quality of life than pure conventional treatment practices. Some studies have also shown that integrative practices may even lead to disease reversal, and not just symptom management.
Moreover, since integrative practices are least invasive by design, they are associated with lower risks of adverse side effects. Taken together, these factors are likely to reduce the overall cost of treatment.
Finally, since integrative practices focus on the mind-body-spirit complex and leverage the body’s innate ability to heal, many treatment approaches are adopted by the individual as a routine in his / her daily life. This, in turn, leads to a virtuous cycle fostering health, well-being and disease prevention over a longer period of time.