To integrate is to bring otherwise separated parts together to form a functioning whole. Such a concept has at least three different applications in arenas of healing. Each of these represents a powerful means of change towards greater success in our desires for wellness and quality of life.
#1 – Combining Different Schools of Healing
One understanding of integrative medicine is about bringing together the different schools of healing our world offers, each having its proper place.
Allopathic medicine utilizes powerful drugs and radiation, precision surgeries, and sophisticated diagnostic methods to address the most advanced, life-threatening medical crises.
Naturopathic medicine employs time-honored principles of supporting the body’s own self-healing through the use of dietary change, natural and bio-identical medicines, structural balancing, electromagnetic frequencies, etc., all designed to “speak the language the body understands.”
Integrating the offerings of the different schools of healing is essential to our being well-served by a comprehensive health care system.
#2 – Nature Knows Integrity
A second application of the integrative concept becomes clear as we understand naturopathic principles. Human chemistry evolved as a natural outgrowth of life as a whole. So it is only intuitive to conclude that whenever we have a choice, we would be wise to address our bodily needs with things that are consistent with nature’s design.
Both chemical and electromagnetic forms that are fundamentally different from those inherent to our ecology are to be seen as a secondary, not primary, type of intervention. Why? Because those unnatural chemical and electromagnetic forms cannot be integrated into our functioning. They cannot contribute to a sense of well-being, a kind of physiological self-love, and a celebration of life as a natural, whole, and self-sufficient phenomenon.
#3 – The Evolution of the Human Mind
The third aspect of integrative wisdom is about the naturally evolving human mind. Physical health and prevention of illness are not the complete picture when it comes to wellness and quality of life. At least as great a challenge as our physical health is our dealing with the events that cause us confusion, outrage, heartbreak, despair, etc. The stress of personal life and relationship traumas is perhaps the most essential calling for integration.
Here we are talking about integrating experiences that literally change who we are and our idea of life itself. And to our great support come the contemplative and psychotherapeutic traditions that have held steady through the test of time. With our dedication and commitment to such practices, guiding and supporting us as we work through the most challenging times, our experiences may come to include not only the enjoyment of healthy, balanced living, but also awakenings of insight into ourselves and leading us to ever-greater degrees of clarity and peace.
So it is on all levels that we find the truly integrative way to be the only one offering real potential for healing and living effectively. Integrative Medicine is simply the application of this universal principle to the healthcare field.
As such, it is the approach of true compassion, the path of manifesting ourselves as authentically human.