About NCIM & Integrative Medicine
Transforming Healthcare for Patients and Healthcare Professionals
NCIM is a Centre of Excellence championing a transformation in healthcare – one which takes a whole-person approach, puts patients back in charge of their health, and helps them to feel more informed about their care.
Our ambition is for Integrative Medicine to become not only more widely accessible, but part of the mainstream approach to health and wellbeing.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative Medicine brings together conventional, lifestyle and holistic approaches in a mutually respectful way to support health and wellbeing.
It’s an evidence based model of healthcare that treats the whole person and not just the condition. Integrative Medicine prioritises wellness and resilience, supports balance and vitality, optimises health and reduces disease risk. It encourages the patient to take a more active role in their health through self-care.
Integrative Medicine empowers patients and healthcare professionals by offering diversity and choice. Patients feel more informed about their care and in charge of their health, and healthcare professionals feel more connected to their purpose and values and better able to support their patients.
Integrative Medicine is a model for whole-person health and wellbeing (mind, body and spirit / mental, physical and emotional) that can be adopted by mainstream medicine in the future and by you right now.
The different approaches to healthcare explained
Treating symptoms and diseases using a medical intervention, for example medication (drugs), surgery, radiation or physical therapy. The first port of call is usually your GP who may refer you to other medically trained clinicians or specialists. It’s also known as allopathic medicine.
Teaching proven techniques and supporting behaviour change for improved health and wellbeing, for example through Nutrition, Sleep, Movement (exercise), Breath Work and Mindfulness. The emphasis is on self-care.
Linking physical health with psychological, social and spiritual influences for health and wellbeing. Using whole-person approaches to manage and prevent disease, for example: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Ayurveda, Medical Homeopathy, Craniosacral Therapy, and Body Work.
Lifestyle and holistic medicine is complementary and not ‘alternative’ – it is used in conjunction with conventional medicine.
What we do
NCIM delivers the following four services all directed towards our health and wellbeing agenda:
1. Wellbeing – Patient appointments with members of our Integrative Clinical Team
2. Education – Integrative Healthcare qualifications and CPD for healthcare professionals
3. Community – Making Integrative Healthcare more accessible in community settings
4. Membership – Transforming healthcare together with the Society for Integrative Healthcare
NCIM is based in Bristol (UK), and we operate across the UK and internationally.
Since 2014 we’ve supported more than 3000 patients and healthcare professionals on their health and wellbeing journey and have a passion to support even more.
NCIM’s patient wellbeing services are delivered by qualified medical doctors and other healthcare professionals who can support the individual with lifestyle and holistic approaches and at the same time fully understand the clinical context.
Our community and education programmes are delivered by experts in the field who also deliver health and wellbeing services to patients and clients either at NCIM and/or in other clinical settings.
NCIM is a social enterprise – our mission is to make Integrative Medicine more widely accessible to patients and healthcare professionals and we’re proud to support individuals and communities by providing low-cost options where we can. We’re a Community Interest Company and we don’t have any shareholders.
NCIM is clinically led – our CEO Dr Elizabeth Thompson is a GMC registered medical doctor along with many members of our Integrative Clinical and Education teams.
NCIM was founded in 2014 and was originally known as Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine (PCIM). In October 2018 we changed our name to National Centre for Integrative Medicine (NCIM) to reflect a national and international reach through our education programmes. Prior to 2014 our team was part of NHS University Hospitals Bristol before becoming an independent organisation.
Working in partnership
NCIM is working in strategic partnership with the Health and Wellbeing Trust (HWT) to widen access to Integrative Healthcare through the delivery of education.
HWT provides vocational training and self-help information for healthcare professionals and the public – facilitating engagement in proactive, sustainable healthcare solutions for the 21st century. Its aim is to help to reverse and prevent lifestyle illness and promote full-potential living.
NCIM is working as the Project Lead responsible for HWT’s online learning platform. Over the coming months we’ll be developing new resources and reaching out to new audiences for HWT short courses.