Integrative Medicine Changing Name to Integrative Health

UW Health Integrative Medicine has changed its name to UW Health Integrative Health. Integrative Health is a healing-oriented approach that honors the whole person - body, mind, spirit and lifestyle - and takes into account a person's interconnections with other people, communities and the environment. It emphasises the therapeutic relationship and the evidence-informed use of conventional and complementary care.


There are a few reasons why the program changed its name. One is that federal agencies, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), have moved away from the use of "integrative" or "alternative medicine" to a title that reflects how most Americans use integrative services. When the NIH announced it was changing the name of its National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), director Josephine Briggs, MD, explained that the name better reflected their research focus. And, she added, surveys of individuals in the U.S. reveal that most Americans use complementary approaches - such as acupuncture or massage - in addition to (or integrated with) their care. Because of this, the title "integrative health" better reflects how individuals try to care for their health and well-being.


The title of Integrative Health is also used in federal legislation, such as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law in Summer 2016 and mandates that the Veterans Administration offer Complementary and Integrative Health education and services to veterans nationwide.


And an equally important reason - many people view the word health as something different than medicine. The word medicine is now more likely to be associated with interventions, or disease management, rather than healthy lifestyles and prevention - which are cornerstones of Integrative Health.


Learn about the range of services provided by UW Health's Integrative Health program, including Complementary Services like acupuncture, Healing Touch and massage therapyMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Integrative Health classes.