What is Integrative Healing?

What is Integrative Healing?

Integrative Healing is the term used to identify the practice of using evidence-based “alternative” therapeutic modalities to support or augment conventional Western medical treatments. Also known as Complementary/Alternative Medicine, there are fundamental beliefs that differ from Western Medicine:


Beliefs of Western Medicine:

  • Something is done rather than waiting on the body’s natural processes to resolve a problem
  • Disease is attacked directly by medication or surgery rather than building up body’s resistance and innate abilities
  • Therapies from the outside:
    • Illness/disease view
    • Focuses on individuals who are seen as being sick or at risk for illness
    • Reductionist: focuses on the cellular, organ, or system levels of the body
    • Interventions consist mainly of chemotherapeutic agents (medications), surgery, or other externally imposed treatments


Beliefs of Integrative Healing:

  • An internal self-healing process exists within each person
  • People are responsible for making their own decisions re health care
  • Nature, time, and patience are great healers
  • Therapies from the inside:
    • Wellness view
    • Views wellness as a state in which individuals are in harmony or balance with their internal and external worlds
    • Spirituality is an essential part of holistic treatment
    • Wellness is achieved mainly by individuals through the process of self-care


What about research?

Contrary to detractors, there is a wealth of research supporting the use of integrative therapies with patients to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

  • Conventional treatments are driven by what is valued as evidence-based.
  • There are thousands of reliable evidence-based research articles available on the subject of Integrative Healing practices.
  • Research covers a full range of topics from Guided Imagery and Hypnotherapy to Aromatherapy and Reiki.
  • While many research findings are inconclusive and recommend further research, there is sound research to indicate that the addition of many Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) practices can augment conventional treatments and facilitate healing.


This lack of awareness of the power of CAM treatments to impact healing is one of the main reasons for which Nurse Navigators for Integrative Healing was founded.


It is our mission to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Medicine, with old and new, to make the best possible healthcare available to our communities in the Upstate of South Carolina.


Begin your exploration of available research…