Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2013 Dec;30(2):79-82.

What Is Integrative Medicine?

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.


The demand for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing worldwide. High-technology medicine is not always effective and is often accompanied by neglected self-care and high cost. Also, conventional medicine has become dependent on expensive technological solutions to health problems. Integrated medicine is not simply a synonym for complementary medicine. It involves the understanding of the interaction of the mind, body, and spirit and how to interpret this relationship in the dynamics of health and disease. Integrative medicine shifts the orientation of the medical practice from a disease-based approach to a healing-based approach. In South Korea, CAM education was first provided 20 years ago, and integrative medicine is becoming part of the current mainstream medicine. Increasing numbers of fellowships in integrative medicine are being offered in many academic health centers in the U.S. Also, it has emerged as a potential solution to the American healthcare crisis and chronic diseases, which are bankrupting the economy. It provides care that is patient-centered, healing-oriented, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship, and uses therapeutic approaches originating from conventional and alternative medicine.


Integrative medicine; Complementary medicine; Alternative medicine; Holistic health; Mind-body medicine

MeSH Terms

Chronic Disease
Complementary Therapies
Delivery of Health Care
Fellowships and Scholarships
Holistic Health
Integrative Medicine*
Mind-Body Therapies
Republic of Korea
Self Care
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