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Institutes & Centers / Osher Center for Integrative Health / About / What is Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine?
Despite spending more than double on health care per citizen than most industrialized nations, the U.S. nears the bottom of the top 40 nations in health system rankings. Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine can change that.

What Is Integrative Health?

Definition from the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Health: Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.

An Integrative Health practitioner uses all appropriate therapies, both conventional and complementary, to facilitate healing and promote optimal health. In the past several decades, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in morbidity from preventable illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Why People Choose Integrative Health Treatment

People today want to take responsibility for their well-being by addressing the effects of lifestyle, emotions, and social interactions on health. People with certain health conditions can greatly benefit from an integrative approach to care. Some of these conditions include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menopause symptoms
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease
  • Preparation for elective surgery or recovery post-surgery

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What Is Lifestyle Medicine?

Definition from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine: Lifestyle medicine is a medical specialty that uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic conditions including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  Lifestyle medicine-certified clinicians are trained to apply evidence-based, whole-person, prescriptive lifestyle change to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse such conditions. Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine—a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connections—also provides effective prevention for these conditions.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the medical professional society for physicians and other professionals dedicated to clinical and worksite practice of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable health care system. 

Why People Choose Lifestyle Medicine Treatment

Lifestyle medicine can address up to 80% of chronic diseases. A lifestyle medicine approach to population care has the potential to arrest the decades-long rise in the prevalence of chronic conditions and their burdensome costs. Patient and provider satisfaction often results from a lifestyle medicine approach, which strongly aligns the field with the Quintuple Aim of better health outcomes, lower cost, improved patient satisfaction, improved provider well-being, and advancement of health equity, in addition to its alignment with planetary health. Lifestyle medicine is the foundation for a redesigned, value-based and equitable healthcare delivery system, leading to whole person health.

Contact Us

Osher Center for Integrative
Health

Medical Sciences Building Suite 4358
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670582 
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0582

Mail Location: 0582
Phone: 513-558-2310
Fax: 513-558-3266
Email: osher.integrative@uc.edu