Those who suffer from chronic illness are likely well aware of traditional treatments. Some are necessary, lifesaving measures. Others act as bandages; they provide temporary solutions to long-lasting, or in some cases permanent, problems. Integrative medicine takes a different approach — it combines treatment and prevention by considering the entire body. Informed by evidence, integrative medicine uses all appropriate therapies, such as acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, massage therapy, light therapy, and meditation.

1. Integrative Medicine Offers Preventive Measures

There may not yet be a cure for your chronic illness. However, there could be a way to prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. When you see a doctor who practices integrative medicine, they will consider your lifestyle when evaluating your chronic illness. The doctor will make suggestions for changes in your habits and diet that may be contributing to your condition. For instance, they might find that you habitually eat foods with large amounts of preservatives or place yourself in high-stress situations. That doctor may then suggest you focus on eating fresh foods, which might help to lower inflammation. Other suggestions could include meditating or journaling when anxiety creeps in.

2. Integrative Medicine Considers Both Mental and Physical Health

There is a strong correlation between mental and physical health. A mind that is not at ease cannot support a healthy body. Unlike most traditional practitioners, Integrative doctors consider your mental health as part of your treatment plan. Treating chronic illnesses using integrative medicine might include yoga, meditation, or sound therapy along with physical realignments and hormone therapy.

3. Integrative Medicine Offers Individual Care

For some, standard medical approaches leave a lot to be desired. One of the primary reasons for this is that traditional medicine rarely considers the individual. A one-size-fits-all approach is often given. However, an integrative doctor will look at your lifestyle and illness to plan your course of care. They will consider what, if anything, is contributing to your chronic condition. Only then will they make suggestions about your treatment plan. One patient might be given a specific diet regimen, while another may benefit more from sound therapy. You can only know which approach will work best for you once you’ve talked with a professional.

4. Integrative Medicine Evolves With You

Not every treatment will work for every person. Integrative doctors will closely follow your progress. Likewise, integrative doctors may alter your treatment plan as your illness improves. An evolving treatment plan lets you know that you are never out of options when it comes to your health and well-being.

By its very nature, integrative medicine combines holistic treatment with conventional medicine. This well-balanced approach to health has been shown, time and again, to improve the lives of those suffering from chronic illness.