Integrative general medicine


The population, our world as well as diseases are evolving. Today, chronic diseases outweigh acute diseases. They are the first cause of death (60%) and represent nearly half of medical consultation in USA (1). Because of the disability they bring about and the incapacity of our system to handle them, chronic diseases become a major socio-economic problem. Due to the decrease of acute illnesses and population ageing, they are more and more predominating. The existing medical system is poorly suited to heal chronic conditions. Consultations are shorter and shorter and protocols more and more standardised. Remedies are most often “anti” or blocking physiology, whereas chronic diseases need revitalising body and spirit to bring them back to a dynamic life. That requires long lasting consultations, multidimensional and individualised approach and taking charge of the field with molecules and nursing being most often “pro”.

Why integrative? This word is for us the one which represents at best this new paradigm of analysis and of global, multidimensional, multidisciplinary, dynamic and creative care. The purpose is to take the best from conventional medicine and complementary medicine.

The patient, decision-maker at the centre of the healing process.

Integrative healthcare is not only concerning the doctor’s or the therapist’s tools since that would be going on with the way of healing prevailing in Moliere’s time when doctors were thinking they were healing, patient being only some material on which to exercise some knowledge. Integration must also be in the diseased-doctor relationship and in anyone who feels concerned by his or her health, whether sick or not. This requires new communication tools and understandable language. Of course, may be some people think that we have come down to use abstruse words or speeches. Every science seeks to develop its own language, incomprehensible for outsiders. Let’s stop those consultation during which doctor and patient don’t understand each other. Power should be shared with the one who is concerned by his own heath. When signing forms which exempt the prescriber from any liability, the patient is asked to choose. But how to choose when one don’t have all information?