Alternative medicine is generally seen as any practice of healing that is not under the category of conventional medicine. Saxe, who said his university is offering the Natural Healing and Cooking Program for doctors, medical students, and others interested in understanding the effects of dietary patterns on health and illness, likens the current boom in integrative medicine in the United State to China’s response to its current energy crisis.
Integrative medicine draws from both complementary medicine and alternative medicine and combines these with traditional Western therapies, says Donald Abrams, MD, director of clinical programs for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
The difficulty in establishing the practices and rights of non-traditional health professionals has been thwarted for the past two centuries from those who advocate the practice of scientifically validated medicine, from the traditional medical societies, and, of course, from the medical doctors themselves.
Therefore—in keeping with the recent trend in all of medical education to reaf?rm and reemphasize the humanistic values at the core of medicine—training in integrative medicine should incorporate philosophical perspectives in addition to knowledge base and therapeutic skills in order to clearly underscore the relevance of human experience and interactions in health and medicine.
Based on the scientific protocols set by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine and Bastyr University’s Naturopathic Medical School program in Seattle, Washington, it provides the scientific knowledge and practical skills needed to make informed healthcare decisions and lifestyle choices and to prepare for careers as state-of-the-art healthcare professionals, veterinarians and doctors.