Yes, we are schooled in the best practices of conventional, allopathic medicine. But we have other therapies in our toolbox, too. So our patients often ask whether we are also homeopathic pediatricians, holistic pediatricians, or integrative pediatricians. The answer? All three.
While there are nuanced differences between the three types of medicine, they are fairly similar. Homeopathic medicine is an approach to treating disease that utilizes natural remedies and focuses on treating the whole person. Holistic medicine is similar, but holistic practitioners also utilize conventional therapies, such as prescription drugs.
The phrase “integrative medicine” came into use in the late 1990’s mostly to clarify what holistic medicine means. It describes medicine that combines both conventional therapies and alternative therapies, such as aromatherapy, natural remedies, and nutritional supplements. Thus, integrative pediatricians like ourselves also practice holistic and homeopathic medicine.
Below, we’ve included more formal definitions for each as well.
Holistic medicine is the art and science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health.
Homeopathy, or Homeopathic Medicine, is the practice of medicine that embraces a holistic, natural approach to the treatment of the sick. Homeopathy is holistic because it treats the person as a whole, rather than focusing on a diseased part or a labeled sickness. Homeopathy is natural because its remedies are produced according to the U.S. FDA-recognized Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States from natural sources, whether vegetable, mineral, or animal in nature.
Integrative Medicine (IM) is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies.
Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
American Institute of Homeopathy
University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine