Integrative Medicine improving the quality of life
By Gabriella Ceraso
Mainstream medical research and conquests and the experience of millenary unconventional traditions cohabitate and collaborate at the 2nd World Congress of Integrative Medicine and Health taking place at Rome’s Angelicum Congress Centre until 23 September.
Oncology is one of the eight pivotal themes focussed on at the Congress. According to both allopathic and holistic experts, an integrated approach to healing and health for cancer patients, in the balance between tradition and convention, in which acupuncture, nutrition and chemotherapy have a role to play, is particularly effective.
Important scientific studies presented at the Congress in this context, include those conducted by physicians and specialists of ARTOI (Foundation for Research on Integrative Oncological Therapies), on 60 patients suffering from cancer. They unequivocally reveal the positive synergistic effects of administering natural and botanical products and other integrative modes, as well as traditional radiotherapy, with the ultimate aim of prolonging the survival and improving the quality of life of the patient.
Studies show that as well as natural therapeutic options, treatment methods may include hyperthermia, cannabis, acupuncture in breast cancer patients, Nordic walking, mind-body medicine for reducing side effects, homoeopathy, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, counselling, and mindfulness.
Overcoming the historic rift between medicine and unconventional practices
Asked whether the rift that has historically existed between medicine and unconventional practices has been overcome, Dr Elio Rossi, Director of the Outpatient Clinic of Homeopathy at the Hospital of Lucca, said there are areas in which coexistence is easier and others in which it is more difficult because there is no cooperation between practitioners.
What’s more, he explained, difficulty can easily turn into opposition. Fortunately, however, he added, to date the vast majority of those in contact with patients, especially paediatricians and general practitioners, are in favour of a holistic approach to the health of the patient.
Presence of WHO
Thus, the intervention and presence of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the Rome Congress is important, Dr Rossi said.
He noted that the WHO “has always had an interest in the development of unconventional methods, especially in the global south where there is no sustainability of expenditure for certain treatments."
And importantly, last August at the WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine 2023 “Towards Health and Well-Being for All”, held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, the final declaration included a clear formula for the promotion of medicine defined as 'traditional, complementary and integrative', whose successes today are a hundred times greater than a few years ago.