What is Integrative Healthcare?
Integrative Healthcare is the combination of Ayurveda and the other Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) with the Conventional Medicine like Allopathy. It’s a healing oriented healthcare practice that takes into account of the whole person’s physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Background of Integrative Healthcare
Integrative Healthcare (IHC) is an innovative approach to health care delivery. It has emerged in response to various factors including patient’s demand for their use of complementary and conventional treatments simultaneously or with only complementary therapies. The science of Ayurveda and other the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) seems to be crucial for such transformational change.
Integrative Healthcare is commonly practiced for chronic and lifestyle disorders such as:
- Rheumatic Arthritis
- Menstrual disorders
- Polycystic Ovarian Disorders (PCOD)
- Various skin disorders such as Psoriasis, Leukoderma, Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis etc.
- Sleeping disorders like Insomnia, sleep apnea etc.
- Chronic fatigue
- Persistent pain and anxiety
- Low Immunity
Apart from the above mentioned disease and disorders, Integrative Healthcare can be best used for all the types of chronic disease and lifestyle disorders and for boosting Immunity.
Various Examples of Integrative Healthcare approach
Let us know about the nonconventional therapies as classified by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
• Natural Products
• Mind and body practices
• Other integrative approaches
Herbal remedies and dietary supplements are considered natural products because they contain ingredients which is found in nature. The herbal products and supplements are in various forms such as oils, syrups, powders, teas, tablet and capsules.
Mind and body practices
The mind and body techniques strengthens the mind and body together. This helps to improve both physical and mental health. The various forms of mind body techniques include yoga, meditation, relaxation, prayer, music and animal-assisted therapy.
The mind and body based practices use human touch to move or manipulate a specific part of your body.
Energy therapies is based on the belief that invisible energy force flows through your body and when this energy flow is blocked or is out of balance, you can become sick. Prana, chi and life force are different names of this energy. The goal of this energy therapies is to unblock or re-balance your energy force. Acupuncture, qi gong, healing touch and reiki are various types of energy therapies.
Other Integrative approaches
The other integrative approaches focuses on a system, rather than a single remedy. This science believes in the power of nature or the presence of energy in your body. The examples are as follows:
• Ancient healing systems: These healing system existed before the conventional western medicine. Ayurveda from India is one such example of the ancient healthcare science. Ayurveda includes treatment with both ayurvedic medicine and panchakarma (ayurvedic therapy).
• Naturopathy: This approach includes noninvasive treatments to help your body do its own healing in a particular time period depending on the health conditions. It includes additional noninvasive practices such as massage, herbal remedies, exercise, acupuncture and lifestyle counselling in chronic illness.
Commonly used therapies in Ayurveda and other Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) are as follows:
2. Music Therapy Aromatherapy
6. Relaxation techniques
What is Panchakarma?
It is the famous detoxication process of Ayurveda which helps in curing diseases and disorders when done alongside in the medication duration. Panchakarma includes five natural methods for detoxifying the body while balancing the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It includes the various massage therapies too with the medicated oil depending upon the individual’s prakriti (nature).
• Snehana: Lubrication of body systems through internal administration by ghee and external medicinal oil massages.
• Swedana: In this procedure, artificial sweating is induced in a person who has undergone snehana. This prepares the body to eliminate the toxins easily.
The Five Types of Panchakarma
• Vamana: Emetic medicine is administered to induce vomiting and detoxify body.
• Virechana: Laxative medicines is administered to cleanse the bowels of all the toxins.
• Nasya: Ayurvedic medicine is administered through the nose for clearing up the head region of the body.
• Basti: Ayurvedic medicine is administered through the rectum for cleaning up the colon.
• Raktamochana: This Ayurvedic therapy is essentially for cleansing the impure blood from the body.
According to Ayurvedic science, the panchakarma therapies goes deep upto the cellular level of the body to treat various health diseases and disorders.
Risk factors to consider before going for these integrative therapies
There are certain therapies and products which are not recommended for certain health conditions. It’s also important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before trying these therapies.
According to Ayurveda, Panchakarma is not recommended to children below 12 years of age, old aged individual, too weak individual who cannot tolerate the medications power and pregnant ladies.
Advantages of Integrative Medicines
• It is healing oriented process
• Focuses on mind, body and spirit
• Emphasizing on the therapeutic approach along with the medicines
• Personalized care
• Treating the whole person, not just the physical condition and the disease
Integrating Ayurveda and other Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) along with the conventional Allopathic system of medicines would utilise the best of both the systems and create a healthy society.
Dr.Ruchika R. Jha
Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7m24Y-skT3D5dxyijZ7uMg