[Letters] Integrative medicine: A new medical paradigm

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[Letters] Integrative medicine: A new medical paradigm

Integrative medicine is the medical practice for soul, heart and body. It aims to harmonize all possible treatments to help a patient’s specific needs. To realize this, modern western medical technologies and scientifically proven treatments in oriental medicine, alternative medicine, mind-body medicine and others are used together. By doing so, the quality and effectiveness of medical treatment are heightened while the side effects are minimized.

Integrative medicine is a patient-oriented medicine. The treatment plan is created by choosing the methods that best fit a patient. Western and oriental medicine, pollution-free environment, diet, stress management, contemplation and relaxation, music and art therapy and aroma therapy are actively used.

The treatments of integrative medicine are particularly effective for the rapidly increasing chronic and degenerative conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

They are appropriate to manage and prevent the chronic and degenerative diseases of the elderly. Such conditions develop when various factors such as lifestyle, body condition, stress and environment work together, so the treatment needs to be integrated.

That is why renowned universities and medical institutions from around the world recognize the importance of integrative medicine and have active researches to complement their existing practices. Korea, therefore, needs to follow suit.

To this end, the Integrative Medicine Health Care Exposition 2012, which will take place for one week starting Wednesday in Jangheung, South Jeolla, will be an important opportunity. It should be used as an event to develop a new paradigm.

Expectations are high that it will serve as a stepping stone to offer a new treatment model in integrative medicine and develop the health industry not only domestically but also globally.

by Lee Duk-chul Professor at Yonsei University’s College of Medicine

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