The medical field is rapidly transforming. It’s now more accepting of a more integrative approach to healthcare. Foundations, colleges and universities, research institutions, and the federal government are creating initiatives to explore, research and develop a new patient-driven approach to care.
Integrative medicine recognizes the importance of modern scientific treatment as well as the state of an individual’s mind and spirit. It encourages the patient to take a primary role in his or her own care, and integrates Western-based drug treatment with broader principles and therapeutic approaches to wellness.
Here’s just a few of the institutions working toward a new integrative approach:
Massachusetts General Hospital Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine:
A scientific and educational organization dedicated to research, teaching, and the clinical application of mind-body medicine and its integration into all areas of health. Here you can read Dr. Benson’s story of how he began researching mind-body connection when he noticed that all patients had elevated blood pressure during regular check-ups. In one example from his research studies, monkeys that were trained to elevate their blood pressure through behavior consistently developed hypertension.
Mind & Life Institute
An organization “bridging dialogue and study between scientists with other philosophical practitioners, notably the Dalai Lama, in the interest of studying mind-body interactions, the nature of pain and suffering, and the cultivation of compassion to facilitate human advancement in growing, healing and regulation of emotions.” – Mind Life Institute
Alternative Medicine Foundation
The Foundation provides resource guides listing books, medical journals and treatment centers in alternative and complementary modalities such as acupuncture, ayurveda, mind-body medicine, and how to use such modalities in dealing with health issues such as aging, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pain management.
University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Medicine
A National Institutes of Health specialized center for research in integrative medicine, blending conventional and complementary medical approaches, addressing not only physical symptoms, but also psychological, social, environmental & spiritual aspects of health & illness. Read a summary of ongoing research projects conducted at the Center in areas such as the impact of therapies in wide range of physical illnesses and emotionally-based problems ranging from arthritis and back pain to addictions and overcoming emotional trauma.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine
The Center is “working to facilitate the combination of modern science with the wisdom of the world’s healing traditions, to help health professionals heal themselves, their patients and clients, and their communities.” They promote scientifically proven techniques in self-awareness and self-expression through words, drawings, and movement, relaxation, meditation, exercise, diet, biofeedback, visual imagery, self-hypnosis, and group support. Led by James S. Gordon, MD, “a Harvard educated psychiatrist, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. He also recently served as Chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and served as the first Chair of the Program Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Alternative Medicine.” See a summary of the Center’s research studies.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices “in the context of rigorous science, training complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals.” See a summary of recently research studies and clinical trials.
The Bravewell Collaborative
The Collaborative works with prominent researchers, educators, philanthropists, and businesses dedicated to promoting advances in integrative medicine. Read an article from Bravewell about mind-body medicine. Read more from Bravewell about Integrative Medicine.
The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine “leads the transformation of healthcare by creating, educating and actively supporting a community that embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-oriented medicine, addressing mind, body and spirit.” Led by Andrew Weil, MD, Founder & Director, Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Jones-Lovell Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology.
Duke Integrative Medicine
Duke University’s Integrative Medicine’s research is dedicated to “understanding the effectiveness and efficacy of new models of integrative, personalized health care to help transform the practice of medicine in the 21st century.”
The Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
The Center’s research and treatment approach “Integrates the discipline of modern science with the wisdom of ancient healing. It can transform the physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the lives of people living with chronic or life-threatening illness. In concert with medical treatment, the Center promotes therapies such as touch therapies, mind-body therapies, acupuncture, nutrition, physical activity and fitness, and dietary supplements to help alleviate stress, reduce pain and anxiety, manage physical and emotional symptoms, and enhance quality of life.”
Johns Hopkins Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (“CAM”)
The main scientific goals of the CAM Center are to study CAM interventions relative to cancer and concomitants, such as cancer pain. In the Johns Hopkins CAM Center proposal, “translational and clinical research project proposals are amalgamated to focus on treatments for certain types of cancer. reduce neuroendocrine stresses in breast cancer patients, to alleviate cancer pain, and to examine the activity of PC-SPES, an herbal preparation with eight components, in prostate cancer patients.”
The Johns Hopkins Medicine and Digestive Center
This center also studies and uses integrative medicine in treating various physical and emotional conditions. It uses nutrional counseling, accupuncture, massage, mind-body therapies, and counseling. Specifically, integrative Pychotherapy is used, combining traditional counseling with holistic approaches such as meditation, visual imagery and music therapy to create a healthy mind-body alliance.
Beth Israel Continuum Center for Health and Healing
The Center is an academic leader in integrative healthcare, research and education. There are several different sites with summaries of relevant research relating to mind-body therapies in several different areas:
Healing chronic disease
Healing chronic pain
Healing digestive order
There are more summaries on the website: Research on various modalities for treating chronic pain including acupuncture, exercise/movement therapies, healing arts, manual therapies, mind-body practices, and others.