People have long been interested in natural cures. Therapies that have not typically been part of conventional Western medicine. Some of them have been practiced for thousands of years.
At Mayo Clinic, we believe some of these therapies can be helpful in treating our patients. We call them complimentary and integrative medicine. That's because they are integrated into a patient's treatment plan, complementing conventional therapies such as surgery and medications. There have been many claims for herbal supplements and other alternative therapies. Many of them have more to do with marketing than science, but well-designed research studies, including many conducted by Mayo Clinic, have shown the real value of integrative therapies. Typically, the benefit of complementary medicine is not in curing disease, but in managing symptoms to help the patient feel better. For example, reducing pain, fatigue, nausea and anxiety.
Types of integrative medicine in use at Mayo Clinic include mindfulness and other mind body therapies, herbal supplements, massage, acupuncture, aroma therapy, animal assisted therapy, and music therapy. They are provided by well-trained health care professionals, often licensed or certified to practice these there therapies. Patients interested in making integrative medicine part of their treatment plan are encouraged to discuss this with members of their health care team.
At Mayo Clinic, we seek to combine proven conventional medicine with the most effective complimentary and integrative medicine to provide the best care possible for every patient.