Is Integrative Medicine For You?

In 2017 we have never had more breadth of choice for meeting our health needs. The rise of evidence based medicine has challenged all streams of medicine become much more focused on demonstrating results. As a consequence we seem to worry less about whether a treatment is considered ‘conventional’ or ‘alternative’ but whether it’s going to be effective. The key question we all ask is “will this make me feel better”.

In this climate of expanding options for healing and wellbeing, the field of integrative medicine has blossomed. Integrative medicine is described as a combination of the best of conventional western medicine and evidence-based complementary medicine.

To me, integrative medicine is a best-of-both-worlds model of healthcare. Crucially, it neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically. Whilst there are sections of both conventional and alternative medicine camps that still are, and probably always will be, stuck in an ‘us-vs-them’ mentality, the sensible majority have moved on and are enjoying the broad range of healthcare options we are so fortunate to have in a city such as Canberra.

As the Royal Australian College of GP’s eloquently puts it,
“Integrative medicine seeks to broaden conventional healthcare by emphasizing principles that some doctors and patients believe are undervalued in conventional medical practice.”

These values include:

  • A holistic framework: taking into consideration a person’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual wellbeing.
  • A keen focus on illness prevention and boosting wellbeing.  
  • Using effective but less invasive or natural interventions whenever possible.
  • Recognition that the partnership between the patient and the practitioner is a key component of the healing process.

Whilst it may not be for everyone, it would seem to me that Integrative medicine is flourishing because it’s the kind of health care that, for many of us, is more closely aligned with our values and needs

Wes Smith - Live Well Director

New to Live Well in 2017: Integrative GP, Dr Orla Teahan. To enquire about an appointment with Dr Teahan please call Live Well on 62950400. For more information visit