The Big Idea Behind Integrative Medicine

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“The emerging field of integrative care is as much an idea as a set of practices. The idea is of an ecosystem of support, an intersecting set of relationships that address the whole human package — body, mind, heart, and soul…I am reminded of the support that the poet W.H. Auden gave Dr. Oliver Sacks when he was composing Awakenings, a book about his work with a group of patients who had been in a decades-long sleep and were now coming back to consciousness. Auden wrote: “You’re going to have to go beyond the clinical… Be metaphorical, be mystical, be whatever you need.” I find here the implication that it is our deep regard for the human condition that moves us beyond the complacent and routine. It is in our profound respect for service to others that we touch mystery and wholeness.”

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