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Integrative medicine is a patient-centered medical practice that uses both evidence-based and experience-based treatments. Integrative medicine combines multiple disciplines, including alternative and traditional Western therapies, to provide safe and effective care. Practitioners of integrative medicine view patients as partners and work closely together to make sure you get the treatment you need. Integrative medicine looks at the many factors, including physical, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental influences, that affect a person's health. In addition to providing treatments that address immediate health problems, integrative medicine focuses on broader health concepts (including healthy living) that contribute to a person's overall health and well-being now and in the future. Integrative medicine emphasizes the doctor-patient relationship and is based on a model of focusing on health and wellness rather than a model of illness. By personalizing each person's care, integrative medicine treats more than just symptoms. Together, you and your practitioner address the causes of disease, including biological, psychosocial, environmental and behavioral factors, as well as prevention. The integrative medicine approach takes into account your immediate health needs as well as other factors that affect your long-term health and well-being. Integrative medicine practitioners integrate the use of complementary and alternative medicine in addition to traditional treatments. This is only used if it has been proven to be effective, safe and appropriate for the individual's health condition. During your first visit to an integrative medicine practitioner, your health history will be reviewed and you will explore the root causes of your illness to better understand how emotional, physical, social, spiritual and environmental factors may contribute to your health problems. You will work closely with a practitioner to develop an individualized wellness plan based on your immediate health needs. You will be encouraged to develop healthy behaviors and self-care skills that you can use throughout your life to achieve and maintain your long-term health goals. Integrative medicine does not replace the care you receive from your primary care physician. It complements the existing treatments prescribed by your primary care and specialty providers. After you meet with an integrative medicine practitioner, he or she will send your primary care provider a summary of your visit and a list of recommended treatments. In some cases, an integrative practice may be the primary provider, depending on their training and jurisdictional licensing requirements. The natural remedies and complementary therapies included in your individual wellness plan should not interfere with any traditional medications you have been prescribed. Instead, they are designed to maximize your body's potential for healing along with any other treatments you receive. Integrative medicine encourages people to take responsibility for their health and well-being by working in partnership with their health care providers and on their own. If you are interested in receiving integrative care, consult with your insurance provider to determine what costs will be covered. Some insurance companies do not cover complementary and alternative therapies used in integrative medicine, while others cover certain treatments, such as acupuncture and some mind-body therapies. People turn to integrative medicine to treat their health conditions for a variety of reasons. Some people choose integrative medicine because they want to integrate complementary therapies with the traditional methods of Western medicine that they receive. Others prefer a holistic approach to their health care and find integrative medicine more consistent with their beliefs in treating the whole person, not just the disease/disease. Others prefer the personalized approach to care that integrative medicine offers. As integrative medicine continues to gain popularity, research shows promising evidence that integrative medicine can provide effective, safe and cost-effective treatment and prevent future illness in patients while promoting overall well-being.