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Integrative Medicine

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Updated: March 28, 2008

Photo used via the Creative Commons License (flickr.com) Photo by MJ Mac (flickr.com)
Definition:

The treatment philosophy with integrative medicine is that cancer impacts a person's entire life -- mind, body, and spirit -- and therefore a more holistic treatment approach is in order. Integrative medicine goes the conventional route (surgery and chemo/radiation), but also adds in complementary therapies.

Clinics and medical centers that offer integrative medicine involve a variety of healthcare professionals in your care, including oncologists, surgeons, psychologists, physical therapists, massage therapists, nutritionists, and even yoga practitioners. You don't have to participate in everything. For example, if yoga is too wonky for you, you can skip it and do something else. The idea is to treat your whole body, since colon cancer impacts your whole body, not just your colon.

To learn more about integrative medicine, I recommend reading The Journey Through Cancer: Healing and Transforming the Whole Person.

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