More than 1,000 healthcare practitioners, researchers and policy experts are expected June 9–11, 2016, in Stuttgart, Germany for the International Congress for Integrative Health & Medicine (ICIHM) to discuss the latest research, promising clinical approaches and successful integrative care models from around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO)’s call to action on chronic diseases and antibiotic resistance will be a focus of the conference.
Integrative: Responding to the needs of patients
For most people in Europe, naturopathy, acupuncture and Far Eastern treatment methods, phytotherapy and homeopathy are seen as complementary to conventional medicine. As surveys in Europe show, patients are asking for a combination of complementary and conventional medicine. Integrative Medicine is one answer to that call.
For advocates of the field, Integrative Medicine is more than an evidence-informed combination of conventional and complementary treatment methods – it is a complete system that focuses on the patient as a whole person and the self-healing properties of the body.
Integrative Medicine focuses on quality of life and is based on an equal doctor-patient partnership. As expressed by conference planning committee member, David Riley, MD, “Simply put, integrative medicine offers best practices for optimal health and healing. It is holistic, considering the patient’s bio-psycho-social dimensions as determinants of health.”
Answers to global problems
Experts consider Integrative Medicine particularly useful for patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and mental health diseases. NCDs have garnered attention of policy makers in over 190 countries as a global health priority, as demonstrated by the WHO’s 2013-2020 Global Action Plan on NCDs.
The Congress will highlight how an Integrative Medicine approach with an emphasis on prevention, high-level collaboration between professionals and integration of complementary treatments and professions is part of the solution to the global NCD challenge. Speakers will also discuss how an Integrative Medicine approach could reduce antibiotic use, one of the key objectives in WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.
Among the keynote speakers are Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, United Nations Under-Secretary-General; alternative Nobel laureate Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish from Egypt; and Zhang Qi, the coordinator of traditional and complementary medicine at the WHO. Expert moderators, such as Dr. Tido Schoen-Angerer MD, MPH of Switzerland and Dr. Tabatha Parker, ND from the USA will address important topics with leaders from the WHO, PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) and UN including sustainability, the future of medicine, and models of care.
The main focus of the conference is to provide clinicians with practical integrative medicine tools for a variety of diseases. What are the options offered by Integrative Medicine for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic pain or mental illnesses? Over 70 renowned experts will present how they have put Integrative Medicine into practice in hospital settings, integrative and public health clinics within different national healthcare systems and private clinical models.
Special sessions on current research findings from different fields will complement the program. According to the Scientific Head of the Committee, Prof. Dr. David Martin (Tübingen University, Germany), MD, “We want to create a space where the brightest minds who have a deep sense of commitment to global health could come together to envision an Integrative and modern Medicine. We have much to learn together.”
Clinical lecture highlights include:
Integrative Oncology. Guidelines for evidence-based treatment of breast cancer and an integrative approach to cancer prevention will be presented by epidemiologist Dr. Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, from Columbia University´s Mailman School of Public Health in New York.
Eran Ben-Arye, MD, Director of the Integrative Oncology Program within the Haifa and Western Galilee Oncology Service (Israel) and Dr. Marion Debus, MD, senior physician at Havelhöhe Community Hospital in Berlin, will report on how integrative medicine is implemented into an oncology clinic.
Integrative Cardiology. The prospects of integrative cardiology in secondary prevention will be described by Prof. Dr. Andreas Michalsen, Berlin. Cardiologists, Dr. Abdullah Abdulrahman Alabdulgader from Saudi Arabia and Dr. Mimi Guarneri from La Jolla, USA, will report on their experiences of how integrative concepts can be put into clinical practice.
Integrative Psychiatry. Dr. Rogier Hoenders from Lentis/Groningen will share experiences from ten years of integrative psychiatry in the Netherlands. Child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Scott Shannon from Fort Collins, USA, will describe epigenetics and neuroplasticity as a fundamental basis for mental health.
Integrative Pediatrics. Best practice models and Integrative Medicine initiatives in pediatrics will be presented by Kathi J. Kemper, professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at Ohio State University, and Ines Rosenstiel from Slotervaart Children's Hospital in Amsterdam. Prof. Dr. David Martin and Dr. Jan Vagedes from the Filderklinik and Dr. Sigrid Kruse from Dr. von Haunerschen Kinderspital at the University of Munich will describe how integrative concepts in pediatrics work have been implemented in German hospitals.
Integrative Nursing Care. In care and nursing professions, the holistic and integrative approach is already firmly established. How various concepts can be put into practice will be explained by speakers from the USA, Switzerland and Germany.
About the organizers – sharing a vision
The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM), the largest association for Integrative Health & Medicine in the USA, and the DAMiD, the umbrella organization for Anthroposophic Medicine in Germany, are jointly organizing the event. The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the German Hufeland Society, as well as EUROCAM and CAMDOC Alliance, also support the preparation of the event.
• Dachverband Anthroposophischer Medizin in Deutschland (DAMiD) / Umbrella Association of Anthroposophic Medicine in Germany is working on political, institutional and practical level for the parent interests of its members: damid.de/
• The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) is a global, interprofessional, member organization that educates and trains clinicians in integrative health and medicine to assure exemplary health care. The AIHM’s training incorporates evidence-informed research, emphasizes person-centered care and embraces global healing traditions. By combining science and compassion, the AIHM is transforming health care: aihm.org
ProScience Communications –
The agency for research
Dachverband Anthroposophische Medizin in Deutschland e.V. (DAMiD):
T: +49-30-28 87 70 96
F: +49-30-97 89 38 69
Media can register for the Congress for Integrative Health & Medicine here:
Barbara Ritzert | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
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