An Integrative Health Practitioner, Dr Ifeyinwa Nwakwesi has called for the establishment of integrative health institute to improve healthcare and fast-track recovery of patients in the country.
Nwakwesi made the call in an interview with the press in Lagos.
According to her, integrative medicine is a total approach to medical care that combines standard medicine with the complementary and alternative medical practices.
“Complementary and alternative medicines have been shown to be safe and effective as they treat the patient’s mind, body and spirit,’’ she said.
Nwakwesi said that complementary and alternative medicines include botanicals and nutritional products.
“They include: herbs, body and mind therapies, including yoga, relaxation or stress reduction techniques, acupuncture, meditation and body massage therapy.
Most of our medical practice in Nigeria is focused on disease care and use of drugs. The fact is that drugs alone cannot bring total recovery.
Complementary and alternative medicines offer a broad approach to healing, that is patient-centered and focuses on the whole person-mind, body and spirit.
Many healing practices explicitly consider the emotional and spiritual aspects of health, which often helps bring healing in the form of emotional peace or a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.
There are some ailments that can be cured with yoga, regular exercises or even body massage. It is not all the time that drug-based treatment is required,” she said.
Nwakwesi, however, urged the Federal Government to conduct scientific investigations to define the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative health interventions as well as their roles in improving health and healthcare.
”Right now, all over the world, such as America and in Europe, a lot of other alternative healthcare approaches are being adopted and available to help fast-track recovery of patients.
Many Nigerians who patronise alternative healthcare have been testifying to the safety and efficacy of treatments, such as stroke or diabetic patients.
”So, we need to work out and set up an integrative healthcare institute in Nigeria.
The effort will help medical doctors to continue learning other modalities of healthcare that can fast-track recovery instead of just focusing on drug-based treatments alone.
”Such institute will be set up in a way that it can provide online training to help all healthcare practitioners complement the drug-based supportive treatments,” she said.