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Integrative medicine includes therapies that are used in addition to those used in conventional medicine, such as practicing yoga in addition to taking a prescription analgesic. Today, the term "integrative medicine" is commonly used to describe health care practices and products that aren't generally part of conventional medicine but can be reasonably combined with conventional care.
Most of these integrative therapies aren't new. In fact, some, such as acupuncture and certain herbal remedies, have been around for thousands of years. These therapies are now experiencing a surge in popularity — especially when it comes to managing pain.
That's not surprising. Pain can leave you feeling helpless, with no control, and at the mercy of the medications prescribed to you. And although your prescriptions may be effective, you might struggle with side effects or fear the risks of increasing dosages or long-term use. Integrative therapies, on the other hand, can give you a broad range of philosophies and approaches to boost the care your health care professional gives you, increase your relief from pain and improve your overall quality of life.
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