An integrative model of medicine holds to the truth that the human being is more complex than merely the combination of biology and physiology. One way to look at it is that the body is more like a garden than a machine. In a machine, you can separate each individual part from the other and still clearly understand its function. Whereas for a garden to be healthy and to flourish, many multi-dimensional relationships need to be held in balance; the seeds, the soil, proper sunlight, temperature, water availability and nutrition to name a few.
This is the basic difference between what is called reduction and non-reduction science. In the non-reduction system, the individual is viewed in relationship to the whole. In the reduction way of looking at things, you cut the whole into smaller and smaller pieces to better understand each part on its own.
Modern physics has actually validated that the only way to truly comprehend the nature of reality is by looking at things in a non-reductive way. However, general medicine or allopathic medicine, as it is currently practiced, has struggled to embrace this non-reduction scientific system. This is not to say that standard general medicine does not have its benefits; it’s diagnostic tools and emergency care are areas where it is at the forefront.
However, in the realm of most chronic conditions plaguing large portions of the earth’s population, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that the allopathic way is far from adequate, with toxic side effects from harsh, environmentally insensitive pharmaceuticals, high treatment costs, and its insufficiency in the prevention and management of common, recurring illness.
The Integral Health Model
Without a doubt, a new model based upon a more holistic understanding is needed to overcome this situation.
Practitioners in an integral heath care team embrace the principle that good health is an essential balance of the physical, mental and emotional self.
Integral medicine encourages a proactive approach to wellness rather than taking a more reaction-based treatment approach, and in doing so it emphasises the primary role of the patient.
Each patient’s care is individually tailored to his or her needs, inspiring ever-evolving methods of diagnoses and treatments. Priority is given to diagnostic and therapeutic tools that are non-toxic, minimally invasive, and inexpensive.
The patient is also entrusted with a major responsibility in maintaining his/her well being by making healthy lifestyle choices. In the integral model of medicine, there are no irrelevant parts of the picture. Both patient and his or her health care collaborators must participate in the treatment process.
To effectively practice integral medicine, the Auroville Institute for Integral Health focuses on three essential pillars.