massage - a type of complementary medicine

What Are the Differences Between Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and Complementary Medicine?

When you are looking to improve your health and wellness, you may to explore options to complement the standard care you receive.  Understanding a little about each of the types of medicine will help you to narrow down the best choices for you. The three most well-known types include integrative, complementary, and functional.

complementary medicine

Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine uses a combination of complementary medicine techniques, conventional medicine and alternative medicine. It serves to create a comprehensive treatment regimen that treats your medical condition, as well as your total health. For example, if you suffer from anxiety, this system of medicine would create a comprehensive plan by combining things like prescription anti-anxiety medications, herbs or teas for reducing anxiety and massage or reflexology.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine serves to unite alternative medicine with Western medicine. It looks at your symptoms and links them to an imbalance that may be occurring in your body to see which organ system is the culprit. Practitioners then create a treatment plan that helps to restore balance in your body by focusing on the specific body system that is not functioning properly. This, in turn, will reduce the symptoms you are experiencing.

Complementary Medicine

Complementary medicine is something that people often confuse with alternative medicine because the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, complementary medicine works as a complement to your traditional medical treatments. For example, if you have multiple sclerosis, muscle tightness and spasms are common. This system of medicine would add a massage to your prescription muscle relaxers to improve your comfort.

Now you have a better understanding of each of these systems of medicine. Talk to your doctor and make a decision about which ones is going to be the best for your medical conditions and overall health.

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