When Joe sat down with “The Father of Integrative Medicine,” Dr. Andrew Weil, they discussed how integrative medicine can help people stay healthy and live longer. Joe started by asking Dr. Weil, “What IS Integrative Medicine?” Dr. Weil believes it’s the future of medicine…
“Integrative medicine places great emphasis on the human organisms potential for healing,” says Dr. Weil. Many people have very little confidence in their bodies ability to heal, but integrative medicine takes the opposite approach.
It looks at patients as more than physical bodies. It’s “WHOLE-PERSON” medicine.
The mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of being have a large part to play in addition to the physical aspects. Integrative medicine places emphasis on lifestyle too. An integrative physician might ask you about your diet, your sleep, what you do for fun, and more.
According to Dr. Weil, integrative medicine also makes use of all available therapies as long as they show reasonable evidence of efficacy and will benefit people and not hurt them. “We don’t reject conventional medicine, and we don’t accept alternative treatments uncritically,” says Dr. Weil.
Dr. Weil explains how conventional medicine tends to get stuck in the biomedical model which sees only the physical as real. In this model, observing a physical change means the cause is physical. The idea of non-physical causes for physical events isn’t allowed. Dr. Weil says it is for this reason the realm of mind-body medicine is viewed with suspicion by conventional science and medicine.
Whole-person medicine, by contrast, doesn’t exclude the effects of the mind on the body. “I’m confident one day we’ll be able to drop the word ‘integrative’, and it will just be medicine,” says Dr. Weil.
That said, when asked about some of the main components of a healthy lifestyle, Dr. Weil had these three tips to share:
- A HEALTHY DIET: Following extreme eating patterns can often be unwise in the long term. A healthy diet strikes balance.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Physical activity is critical to good health. “I also think it’s important to change the nature of physical activity as you age,” says Dr. Weil. In his 20’s, Dr. Weil would run, but then he changed to cycling, and now he’s a swimmer.
- MANAGING STRESS: Managing stress is key. We can’t live without stress, but there are methods for neutralizing its harmful effects on our mind and body. Dr. Weil’s favorite methods? Simple breathing techniques. “They are so time and cost efficient.”
Is Integrative Medicine the FUTURE of medicine? And which one of the three tips from Dr. Weil above could you utilize to better your health starting today?
by Joe Polish
Founder of Genius Network
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