What is the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine?
The Consortium is a group of 44 medical schools with programs in integrative medicine
who are committed to advancing rigorous scientific studies, creating new models of care,
and educating health professionals and the public about integrative care options.
What is Integrative Medicine? Integrative Medicine combines biomedical care with
appropriate complementary and alternative therapies, to heal and preserve the health of the
patient’s body, mind, and spirit. It emphasizes the individual’s capacity for self-healing and
offers an approach to care that is personalized, collaborative, and comprehensive. This
approach is interdisciplinary and utilizes the skills of other health care disciplines and
professionals, including alternative practitioners, through referral and consultation. The
American public is increasingly demanding care that combines the best of western
medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). According to various
estimates, between 40-60% of the American public uses CAM.
Why do people use CAM? Many people suffer from symptoms and conditions that are
not adequately managed by biomedicine. Integrative medicine provides additional options
for reducing pain and suffering, promoting healing, and preserving health and well-being.
offer a new model for
healthcare delivery –
potentially cost effective.
Is there a scientific basis for integrative medicine? The scientific base for integrative
medicine is growing. For example, we know that:
• Acupuncture reduces the frequency and severity of chemotherapy-related
nausea and vomiting.
• Mind-Body Approaches reduce anxiety and support the immune system.
• Chiropractic treatments reduce low back pain.
• Therapeutic massage reduces pain of osteoarthritis.
• Lifestyle programs that include low fat diet, exercise, group support,
and meditation can reverse the effects of