One size does not fit all

Stepping out of the Conventional Medicine (only) box

Over the last few weeks I’ve really felt the momentum building around Integrative Healthcare, both here in the UK and overseas where I’ve been meeting with colleagues and speaking at conferences about a variety of topics including Integrative Oncology, Nutrition for Wellbeing and Social Prescribing.

It’s so exciting because our community is growing as more and more healthcare professionals and patients are seeking a new model of healthcare that is both compassionate and tailored to the individual. One that at its heart focuses on being, or becoming, well on a mental, emotional and physical level rather than simply fixing a symptom.

I think that the conversation has somewhat shifted from, “What is Integrative Medicine?” towards, “How can I take a much more integrative approach to my (or my patient’s) health and wellbeing?” No one needs to dig very deep to know that one size most definitely does not fit all!

A game-changing event – the Integrative and Personalised Medicine Congress – took place in London at the end of last month and was sold out which is incredible. The line up of speakers was outstanding and its tagline was ‘the future of medicine’ which even a couple of years ago would have been thought of as bold. However, now there is agreement on most sides that the mainstream approach to medicine has to shift, and very excitingly it IS starting to do so. I was fortunate to attend and speak at the Congress and met up with so many people who are making waves in their fields and shifting intentionally towards a new way of supporting patients and clients.

Back to boxes…

I had a conversation with a GP at the recent Integrative & Personalised Medicine 2023 Congress which got me thinking.

Over the last year or so I’ve been talking about the ‘Integrative Medicine Toolbox,’ which is a great metaphor for the range of options that healthcare professionals can have at their disposal to support your patients.

But there’s another metaphorical box that this GP was talking to me about which also merits attention. The conventional medicine box – and in particular the reluctance to open the lid and see what else is out there.

There’s no doubt that the existence of this box has helped healthcare professionals make decisions about interventions or drugs. The problem is that people don’t fit into boxes. Neither the patient nor the healthcare professional!

The beauty about Integrative Medicine is that it gives you a framework – and confidence – to move out of the old ‘box’ and embrace a new world of opportunity. It helps you to have the kind of conversations that inspire both you and your patients.

What are the conversations that you really want to have but feel like you don’t know how to, or worse that you can’t? Join me on LinkedIn for a continuation of this discussion.