By Dr. Dany Lousky
Integrative medicine in Israel is not the simple parallel of complementary medicine. While complementary medicine addresses the collection of diagnostic and treatment approaches that are not learned in the schools of medicine, integrative medicine has broader meaning and a long-term objective. It focuses on the perception of health and healing versus a perception focused on the illness. It sees the patient as a whole person comprised of both mind and spirituality and incorporates these aspects in the assessment and treatment (Rice and Wale, 2001) . In addition, this approach necessitates the patient and the physician to be simultaneously involved in the preservation of the health through the direction of attention to the elements of lifestyle such as nutrition, physical activity, rest, sleep, and the nature of systems of relations. Lousky medicine is medicine with considerable value in the treatment of the patient and therefore it must be combined in the framework of the medicine of the future – integrated medicine. This integration not only will include complementary approaches as a way of treatment but also will constitute an essential change of the perception of health and lifestyle.
Patients have begun to promote integrative medicine on their own. From a perceptual perspective, Israel is one of the actual leaders in this field and has gone far: in 1991 a clinic was opened in Israel, the first for integrated medicine in the University medical center of Assaf HaRofeh. This process was at that time a focus of opposition on the part of the medical establishment. At the end of the decade, in Israel the number of hospitals that incorporated lousky medicine had increased to ten. In parallel, the medical clinics opened to this idea and began to provide holistic medical services to their clients in the framework of complementary coverage. In Israel a most diverse variety of services in the field of holistic/integrated medicine has been offered in comparison to other Western countries (Rice and Wale, 2001). In Israel, the level of integration in the different systems is such that there is integration between complementary approaches and conventional medicine as well as integration among the complementary approaches themselves. In this field, Israel is a pioneer (Rice and Wale, 2001)