- a New Concept of Medicine That Looks at
a Person as a Whole from a Wide Range of Perspectives
- Beside allopathic medicine, there is a diversity of other medical systems, classified under the rubric "complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)." Well known examples include Eastern/Chinese traditional medicine, spiritual healing, aroma therapy, massage, and qi-gong.
- In the United States and European countries, CAM therapies are used as often as allopathic remedies.
- Departing from the hegemony of allopathic medicine, integrative medicine seeks to combine various therapies, allopathic and CAM alike. It takes a patient-centered approach in order to take advantage of all the various therapies that suit the needs of the patient.
- The alleviation of chronic diseases, mental or psychological problems, and post-operative conditions can be helped greatly by taking into consideration things like bodily constitution, lifestyle, and family conditions.
- With integrative medicine, the removal of symptoms is not the sole purpose of treatment. The cause of the suffering is sought on multiple levels - state of mind, situation at home, social environment and conditions and so on. By taking the patients' point of view into account, integrative medicine provides the treatment that best fit the needs of the individual.
- Because of concerns about the prevalence of lifestyle-related illnesses and increasing personal contributions to national medical care, more and more people have begun paying attention to their daily health, and seeking preventive health care and a better lifestyle.
- Integrative medicine holds the natural/innate self-healing ability of a man in high esteem and works primarily to prevent people from falling ill by enhancing their self-healing ability. Therefore, it focuses on raising the quality of life (QOL) and improving the environment of daily life.
- In the West, integrative medicine is gradually becoming mainstream and part of national healthcare in countries that provide this benefit. A volume of research has been conducted in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.
- Behind this trend is the keen awareness, both on the part of governments and nations, that the current allopathic-centered system needs to be reassessed. The potential value of integrative medicine is recognized. It can contribute to reduced medical costs and patients have a wider choice in decisions about treatments.
- In the United States, for example, the National Institutes of Health set up the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in 1999. It supports various investigations into CAM to the tune of over 120 million dollars in 2005.
- Research conducted by the NIH in 2002 reveals that 62% of the US population used one or more types of CAM treatment.
- In Japan in 2006, only 1.2 million dollars is budgeted for research in CAM. This was preceded by discussions in relevant Government and Diet commissions on the value of integrative medicine as a preventive measure in health care. These discussions were prompted by the high rate of spending on national healthcare in recent years.
- Treatment is most effective if those who are involved - doctors and patients, as well as other care givers and family members etc. - are all sympathetic to the approach to care.
- In order to provide patients with the best and most appropriate care, it is vital that all healthcare experts, doctors as well as alternative practitioners, work together as a team.
- In Japan, the laws that regulate the state medical system have not changed much since the early 1900s, when a predominantly Western allopathic medical system was established. While some Asian nations such as China, Korea, and Thailand are making efforts to promote integrative medicine, the Japanese medical system is said to be still in a period of "national isolation," reminiscent of the historical period when the country was closed to outsiders
- We hope the government will undertake a reform of the current Japanese medical system by, for example, opening new research institutions and facilities for researching integrative medicine, and incorporating CAM in the curriculum of medical schools.
- MOA supports the promotion of integrative medicine. We are building collaborative relationships with medical doctors based on a shared understanding of the purpose of integrative medicine. With the help of such medical experts, MOA offers Health Promotion Seminars throughout the country, promoting the Okada Health and Wellness Program as one of the main systems of health-enhancing practices.