In the History of medicine, traditional systems of medicine prevailed before 3000BC which showed that herbalism was the way to go. In the period to follow 19th Century brought in a revolution in healthcare after the discovery of germ theory. During this period communicable diseases played a major role & modern evidence based medicine backed by research & development flourished. 20th Century saw rapid economic development & industrialization which lead to a disturbing number of increase in lifestyle disorders, shifting the focus of healthcare from communicable to non communicable disorders.
21st Century healthcare needs has shifted to lifestyle disorders as recent trends in healthcare show an alarming rise in NCD ( Non Communicable Diseases) or Lifestyle Disorders. Lifestyle disorders are linked with the way people live their life- a faulty lifestyle in respect of poor diet, sedentary habits & stress. Cardio vascular Disorders continue to take a larger chunk of mortality worldwide today followed by cancer, respiratory disorders etc., Lifestyle disorders like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity are major risks for developing Cardio Vascular Disorders. This is seen to have a staggering economic impact of common preventable diseases.
Conventional modern evidence based medical system is a boon to mankind but as a complete healthcare need fails to impart optimal health as it has a reductionist approach, and medication or surgery becomes incomplete in management of lifestyle disorders.
Traditional medical systems approach on healthcare is focused on promotion of health, prevention & management for a healthy lifestyle, but is not backed by evidence. As lifestyle disorders have a gradual onset, associated with multiple causes, long history & requires prolonged treatment a multi disciplinary approach using a blend of both is best suited.
Integrative medicine involves a structural & functional integration of conventional & traditional medical systems. The best of both worlds of modern evidence based medicine & traditional systems with a focus on Prevention & controlling lifestyle disorders is the need of the hour. Prevention should transcend every individual & permeate every aspect of the society. An Integrative approach to health can reduce the risks of developing lifestyle disorders, reduce dependency on medication and is a futuristic medicine which aims at sustainable healthcare for optimal management of lifestyle disorders.