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  • Writer's pictureNicole M. Cotter, M.D.

What is Integrative Medicine?

Updated: Mar 13, 2018

I am asked this question a lot and I sometimes have difficulty answering it. You see, Integrative Medicine is, well, just.....good medicine. If you think long and hard about it, it is what medicine should naturally be...taking care of the whole person, considering all aspects of life and health, getting at the big picture, using all modalities that makes sense and could be helpful. Integrative Medicine blends the best of everything we know - whether conventional, complementary, or alternative - as long as it has evidence and logic.

Integrative Medicine is defined by the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine as "healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle." What that means for the patient is that they have a doctor who will see them as a whole person, not a symptom to be managed with only a medicine or a procedure. An integrative doctor will consider all factors at play in your health and use all available evidence-based modalities to refocus health and healing. Andrew Weil describes Integrative Medicine as "the intelligent combination of conventional and alternative is trying to restore the focus of medicine on health and healing, away from disease symptom management." That sounds like, well...good medicine.

I wrote about this topic for LOLA Magazine in June of 2017. Here is a link to the article so you can read more of my explanation: (

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