Integrative Medicine is the field of health care whose goal it is to improve physiological, physical and emotional/cognitive function. Integrative medicine has fundamental concepts that serve as guiding principles for clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
We treat PEOPLE not diseases. Even if various people have been given the same diagnosis, the makeup and biology of each PERSON is unique, just like their fingerprints. Their condition represents a different disease state that will respond differently to various therapies. The point is to explore all angles till one gets a favorable result in a particular individual.
The same diagnosed illness or disease can be caused or triggered by different factors in different people, and the same trigger(s) or cause(s) can cause different illnesses or diseases. (Example: migraines might be aggravated by intestinal yeast overgrowth in one person, while in another by fatty acid imbalances, stress, hormonal imbalances or food sensitivities. While in reverse, a dairy sensitivity might trigger asthma in one person but digestive problems or acne in another.
The cause of most chronic and degenerative diseases is multi-factorial. What that means is that chronic problems are rarely caused by one thing. Multiple triggers and causes (some from your past history) come together in your particular body (and biochemistry) causing the illnesses or symptoms that are unique to you. We work on finding out which factors may play a part in your particular case and helping you in removing, treating or ameliorating these factors, so that your immune system can do its job of making and keeping you well.
It is logical and valid to look at what is similar in people with the same symptoms and diseases, as far as triggers and causes concerns, and how they respond to various interventions (treatments). That is what scientific (and medical) research is involved with and is often referred to as evidence based medicine. (Example: what percentage of people with a certain disease responds favorably to a particular medication? Is there evidence in studies that indicates that a statistical significant percentage of people have benefited from a particular diagnostic method or treatment?) It focuses on what is the same between people, not on what is different or unique. Most studies try to look at just one or a few factors as variables and keep all others the same so that practical conclusions can be drawn.
There is however an aspect of chronic illness (both in causes and response to different treatments) that is very individual and complex, that has to do with your unique makeup (history, biochemical individuality, genetics, exposures, psychological factors etc.).This is often more difficult to figure out and often needs more careful and detailed history taking and testing.