Complementary, Alternative or Integrative Health: What they all mean?
Every time you search online to get information related to questions about health symptoms you or a loved one might be experiencing, you bumped to answers related to “holistic medicine”, “complementary medicine”, “alternative”, and “integrated medicine”.
What do they really mean?
It is normal to be confused from all those terms, so we will try to demystify them.
Complementary and alternative medicine
Many people seek help for their health issues using healthcare approaches developed outside of conventional medicine.
When people are referring to these approaches use the terms alternative and complementary medicine interchangeably. These two terms, however, have different meanings.
Complementary medicine is a treatment being used to complement current conventional medicine and therefore can be combined or integrated with the current medical treatment and therefore it is called integrated medicine or integrative medicine.
Alternative medicine is a treatment being used in place of conventional medicine.
So with the above definitions, complementary medicine is not alternative medicine.
Going back in time, in the 1970s and 1980s, various healthcare approaches provided as an alternative to conventional medicine became known collectively as “alternative medicine.” Slowly however alternative medicine started to be used alongside and combined with conventional medicine. “Complementary” therefore describes this relation which can explain some of the confusion that surrounds the subject.
Integrated medicine brings conventional and complementary medicine together.
Integrated Medicine (also called Integrative Medicine or Holistic Medicine) is a modern concept which refers to the combination of conventional medicine with complementary medicine, such as acupuncture,homoeopathy, reflexology, hypnotherapy or mindfulness, for instance. It emphasises on the combination rather than substitution.
Holistic Medicine focuses on you as a whole person and your individuality. Although we are all human beings, you have your own way to react to external influences such as virus, bacteria, toxins or even emotional conflicts, and you deserve an individualised holistic therapeutical approach, because you, as an individual, are unique.
How can I get reliable information about a complementary health approach?
find out the credentials of the integrated doctor including education, training and certifications.
Make sure the integrated doctor has the knowledge to work alongside your conventional treatment.
Make sure the doctor understands your symptoms and can work with your condition.
In our Integrated and Holistic Clinic in London, Dr Saskia Kloppenburg Vieth is a fully qualified medical doctor, specialist on consultant level in general internal medicine with further education in complementary therapies including MSc in homeopathic medicine MFHom qualification in Bristol, Master’s practitioner in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and Master’s in Ericksonian Hypnosis, as well as advanced training in Bio-analysis e Inversión EmocionalTM (several courses in Málaga and Barcelona), related to identify and solve specific emotional conflicts in the patient's life that may aggravate or even lead to health disturbances (from allergies, to autoimmune diseases or from depression to cancer).
You can, therefore, be rest assured that you will receive the best and up-to-date integrated medicine therapy, starting with a complete medical assessment, revision of the clinical history (including blood tests and other complementary tests) and a complete physical examination in order to design an individual approach, adapted to your needs.
Dr Saskia Kloppenburg Vieth is a holistic medical doctor who will combine up-to-date approaches to look at you as a whole person and not just treat the superficial, obvious symptoms.