The Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists (IIMH) is a professional association of Medical Herbalists in Ireland. Our practice embraces both scientific and traditional skills and we work together to promote the recognition of herbal medicine as a profession and a health choice.
Integrative medicine is a rapidly developing approach to healthcare where the patient obtains the best treatment approaches from a range of practitioners including doctors, herbalists, nurses, physiotherapists, etc. Integrative medicine thus employs a combination of methods and practices from a range of healthcare professionals.
Many of our members already work and liaise with other healthcare professionals in the course of treating their patients. The training required for our members is there to support not just their practice but the treatment the patients receive from other practitioners. This approach we believe ensures that patients receive the best and most appropriate treatments for their condition when they need it. Thus our member’s knowledge and practice covers both the theory and practice of herbal medicine and conventional medicine. Their practice is underpinned by both traditional knowledge and modern scientific information on medicines (herbs and drugs) and medicine.
In June 2011 the National Council on Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council in the US published its National Prevention Strategy. The sub title for this document is America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness.
“Recommendation Number 6 is as follows
Enhance coordination and integration of clinical, behavioral, and complementary health strategies.
“Integrated health care describes a coordinated system in which health care professionals are educated about each other’s work and collaborate with one another and with their patients to achieve optimal patient wellbeing. Implementing effective care coordination models
(e.g., medical homes, community health teams, integrated workplace health protection and health promotion programs) can result in delivery of better quality care and lower costs. Gaps and duplication in patient care, especially among those with multiple chronic conditions, can be reduced or eliminated through technologies (e.g., electronic health records, e-prescribing,
telemedicine). Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine focuses on
individualizing treatments, treating the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing, and recognizing the spiritual nature of each individual, according to individual preferences. Complementary and alternative therapies for back and neck pain (e.g., acupuncture, massage, and spinal manipulation) can reduce pain and disability.”
In 2013 a representative of the IIMH attended the Symposium in New York on integrative healthcare. The Symposium brought together multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals with the aim of improving patient care and defining the future of integrative healthcare.
If you would like to find out more about integrative medicine and the 2014 Symposium follow this link.