Certainly, restoring its classification will mean much for all of us who depend on medical cannabis for our well-being -- expanded research and medical acceptance, improved quality assurance and better consistency for our medicine.
That alternative medicine is a consumer movement is well known. Less known or appreciated is how a powerful group of consumers shaped the movement to implant these alternatives into conventional treatment.
One of the most significant aspects of a therapeutic alliance between a physician and a cancer patient is the creation of a relationship that helps the patient to build and strengthen mental and physical fortitude.
We live at an exciting crossroads in the world of health care. Ancient medical systems like Ayurveda and traditional chinese medicine are as accessible as modern medical treatments like pharmaceuticals and surgery.
Many unpatentable modalities in the realm of complementary and alternative medicine do not inspire huge and costly trials. We need such trials to know for sure what does and doesn't work. In the absence of them, we need to avoid a rush to judgment.
Lots of people are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) these days -- things like vitamins, homeopathic or herbal medicine, chiropractors, acupuncture or massage therapy. But they don't always tell their doctors about it.
Yoga isn't the only "alternative therapy" that can help patients achieve better outcomes than pills and medical procedures alone. My prediction is that 2013 will see more and more physicians like myself who have added more than conventional Western medicines to their treatments.
The big money in complementary and integrative medicine fields and their preventive and health-promoting focus that CFO Magazine's McCann notes is not in churning services. It is in saving money by limiting services.
In health care, the world breaks down into two types: those who "believe" in alternative medicine and those who think it is quackery. This is unfortunate. New ideas are always alternative until they become well accepted.
Herman is right that it's time to shift the dialogue from roundhouse dismissal of potential cost-saving contributions from what she and the authors call "CIM" treatments and providers. The evidence is there for proactive exploration of potential cost savings.
In a time in which physician burnout is at high levels, developing mindfulness practices such as yoga can only be beneficial in the doctor's own life as a powerful antidote to some of the daily administrative and payment -- not to mention patient-related -- stress.
Any self-respecting, institution-building director of a federally-backed center with a title as encompassing as the National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine would be a fool to let that mantle slip when HRSA's $800,000 is spent down in two years.
In my work with patients, I have seen how the 12-step approach can be very effective. But I have also seen that without dietary change an individual attempting abstinence and recovery is needlessly more vulnerable to relapse.
As we wait on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I find myself focusing on the meaning of full repeal to a limited but growing part of U.S. health care: integrative medicine.
There is blunt idealism in Jay Walker's language about re-positioning the social-intellectual-scientific-policy-business venture called TEDMED to the nation's capital. It's shaping up as a contradictory mix of money and mission.