Integrative Medicine for Health and Disease Management

Welcome to the Integrative Lifestyle Medicine Content Development Project. This space was created by Ziya Altug. Please do not edit unless you are involved in this project, but please come back in the near future to check out new information!!

Original Editors - Ziya Altug

Top Contributors - Cindy John-Chu, Robin Leigh Tacchetti, Robin Tacchetti and Kim Jackson      


Introduction[edit | edit source]


According to an article published in Cureus, "Integrative medicine is the treatment of patients through spiritual, emotional, mental, and environmental in addition to the physical means." The authors go on to say that "Specific techniques can include acupuncture, nutritional advisement, mind-body therapies, and holistic massages, but may involve any effective natural treatment outside of conventional methodology."[1]

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health indicates that integrative health "brings conventional and complementary approaches together" and "emphasizes multimodal interventions, which are two or more interventions such as conventional medicine, lifestyle changes, physical rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and complementary health approaches in various combinations, with an emphasis on treating the whole person rather than, for example, one organ system.[2] There are several factors that may help patients manage disease. For example, healthcare providers can:

  • encourage patients to get regular medical checkups,
  • provide patient education and self-care tips,
  • encourage healthy eating behaviors,
  • teach strategies to manage stress, and
  • provide sleep hygiene guidelines.

Figure 1 outlines various disease management strategies.

Disease Management Chart.jpg

There are several approaches used in integrative medicine. For example, Traditional Chinese Medicine is one approach to healing that uses acupuncture, medicinal herbs, diet, massage, and meditative exercises such as qigong. Ayurvedic Medicine is another integrative approach that uses diet, herbs, massage, meditation, yoga, and therapeutic detoxification for healing.[3]

Integrative Medicine for Pain Management[edit | edit source]

The following are some pain-related medical conditions that may be addressed with integrative and mind-body approaches:


Related Articles[edit | edit source]

Related Books[edit | edit source]

  • Bonakdar RA, Sukiennik AW (Eds). Integrative Pain Management. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2016.
  • Louw A, Puentedura E, Schmidt S, Zimney K. Pain Neuroscience Education. Minneapolis, MN: PTP; 2018.
  • Sluka K. Mechanisms and Management of Pain for the Physical Therapist. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2016.

Resources[edit | edit source]

References [edit | edit source]

  1. Gannotta R, Malik S, Chan AY, Urgun K, Hsu F, Vadera S. Integrative medicine as a vital component of patient care. Cureus. 2018;10(8):e3098. doi:10.7759/cureus.3098
  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Accessed July 31, 2021 from:
  3. Porter RS, Kaplan JL. (Eds.). The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 20th ed. Kenilworth, NJ: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation; 2018.
  4. He Y, Guo X, May BH, et al. Clinical evidence for association of acupuncture and acupressure with improved cancer pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Oncol. 2020;6(2):271-278. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.5233
  5. Millstine D, Chen CY, Bauer B. Complementary and integrative medicine in the management of headache. BMJ. 2017;357:j1805. doi:10.1136/bmj.j1805
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kolasinski SL, Neogi T, Hochberg MC, et al. 2019 American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation Guideline for the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee [published correction appears in Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021 May;73(5):764]. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020;72(2):149-162. doi:10.1002/acr.24131
  7. Lauche R, Hunter DJ, Adams J, Cramer H. Yoga for osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2019;21(9):47. doi:10.1007/s11926-019-0846-5
  8. Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, et al. Nonpharmacologic therapies for low back pain: a systematic review for an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(7):493-505. doi:10.7326/M16-2459
  9. Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, et al. Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(7):514-530. doi:10.7326/M16-2367
  10. Cruz-Díaz D, Romeu M, Velasco-González C, Martínez-Amat A, Hita-Contreras F. The effectiveness of 12 weeks of Pilates intervention on disability, pain and kinesiophobia in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehabil. 2018;32(9):1249-1257. doi:10.1177/0269215518768393
  11. Wells RE, Beuthin J, Granetzke L. Complementary and integrative medicine for episodic migraine: an update of evidence from the last 3 years. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019;23(2):10. doi:10.1007/s11916-019-0750-8
  12. Cramer H, Klose P, Brinkhaus B, Michalsen A, Dobos G. Effects of yoga on chronic neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil. 2017;31(11):1457-1465. doi:10.1177/0269215517698735
  13. Lundqvist LO, Zetterlund C, Richter HO. Effects of Feldenkrais method on chronic neck/scapular pain in people with visual impairment: a randomized controlled trial with one-year follow-up. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014;95(9):1656-1661. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.05.013
  14. Becker JJ, Copeland SL, Botterbusch EL, Cohen RG. Preliminary evidence for feasibility, efficacy, and mechanisms of Alexander technique group classes for chronic neck pain. Complement Ther Med. 2018;39:80-86. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.05.012
  15. Kempert H. The use of yoga as a group intervention for pediatric chronic pain rehabilitation: exploring qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Int J Yoga. 2020;13(1):55-61. doi:10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_13_19