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The Alliance For Natural Health

The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

Stay informed about what is hot in Washington and the states about natural health

Integrative Medicine and Healthcare Reform


The Bravewell Collaborative, a philanthropic organization, partnered with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene this past February’s Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. The primary goal is to make a shift in US healthcare. John Weeks, publisher and editor of The Integrator Blog, poses this question to the integrative medical community: Are Bravewell’s eight key points aligned with your views of “integrative practice”? They are:

• The progression of many chronic diseases can be reversed and sometimes even completely healed through lifestyle modifications.

• Genetics is not destiny.

• Our environment influences our health.

• Improving our primary care and chronic disease care systems is paramount.

• The reimbursement system must be changed.

• Changes in education will fuel changes in practice.

• Evidence-based medicine is the only acceptable standard.

• A large demonstration project is needed.

John Weeks comments that there is particular interest in the double standard which exists around evidence-based medicine. Dr. Michelle Simon, who serves on the summit’s Technology Assessment Panel, said that when evidence-based medicine is applied rigorously, many conventional treatments are not covered. “The evidence simply isn’t there.”

Evidence-based medicine is also a term that is often mis-defined to include only evidence from drug-like trials (with all laboratory and animal evidence excluded). The standard should include all scientific evidence, not just evidence that suits drug companies and the FDA.