With patient interest in integrative therapies on the rise, and more clinicians embracing such techniques, the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) has declared 2022 the Year of Integrative Health and Wellness.
“We envision a day when it is no longer acceptable to treat illness using mainstream modalities alone, but rather a synergistic approach that integrates modern medicine with therapies that take into account each individual’s mind, body and spirit,” said AIHM Executive Director Tabatha Parker, ND. “Integrative health brings together traditional and alternative therapies in a coordinated and complementary way.”
In 2022, AIHM expects to see growth and greater mainstream acceptance of integrative approaches as consumers become increasingly interested in taking a holistic approach to their health. Currently nearly 40 percent of Americans are turning to alternative treatments for their health concerns, including nutritional supplements, chiropractic care and meditation.
In honor of the Year of Integrative Health, AIHM is encouraging various facets of the healthcare industry to do their part in responding to patient interest in an integrative approach to healthcare, including encouraging more medical schools to incorporate integrative health into their curriculum.
“Some of the country’s leading medical and nursing schools have established integrative medicine programs,” said Parker. “Let’s make it the norm.”
Healthcare practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds are completing integrative health and medicine fellowships to expand the use of complementary and alternative medicine techniques to their practices. AIHM offers fellowships in integrative health and medicine for clinicians who have completed postgraduate education and who hold an active license.
The AIHM fellowship requirements include curriculum and retreats on topics such as nutrition, botanical medicine, dietary supplements, biofield therapy, and Chinese medicine. The program also includes a clinical immersion course that all fellows are required to complete.
“We expect more clinicians than ever to apply to our fellowship program this year,” said Parker.
As more hospitals add evidence-based integrative health modalities—including prestigious hospitals and health systems such as Johns Hopkins, Duke Health, University of Florida, Stanford Health Care, and the Cleveland Clinic—AIHM hopes others will follow suit.
“Forward-thinking health insurance companies are already covering the costs of such treatments as acupuncture, chiropractic therapy and massage,” said Parker. “They have discovered the value in allowing members to take a truly integrative, whole-person approach to their health, which benefits the patient and the healthcare industry. We anticipate this trend gaining more traction in 2022.”
Founded in 1978, the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) is the leading interprofessional organization for traditional, complementary and integrative health practitioners worldwide. In 2001, AIHM merged with the Academic Collaborative of Integrative Health (ACIH). Together, they are working to advance integrative health on a global scale and transform health and wellness through education, leadership, collaboration, research and advocacy. For more information, visit aihm.org or follow @aihmglobal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.