Integral health looks beyond the traditional understanding of an individual’s health as being free from disease and focuses instead on well-being.
It sees the health of the individual as both reflected in and correlated to the health of the culture, the society, the economy, and the political system she lives in. It seeks and nurtures these interconnections, while recognizing personal agency and autonomous choice.
From the perspective of integral health, the singular focus of most health systems on treating diseases ignores the social, cultural, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the illness experience.
Integral health is cognizant of the limitations inherent is the way both the mainstream health system and the CAM sector are organized today.
The overreliance of the former on the physical symptoms of illness has led to a fragmentation among disciplines and often a failure to treat people in a holistic way.
Equally, while complementary and alternative approaches to treatment are theoretically holistic, they are too often applied with a partial focus linked to the specific expertise or training of practitioners and cannot provide a credible alternative treatment to a serious physical condition.
Integral health recognizes the value and seeks to synthesize the knowledge derived from both evidence-based specialized medicine and CAM approaches.
In doing so, it seeks to access the entire spectrum of knowledge that should form a genuine dia-gnosis.