Integrative Chinese Medicine (ICM) is “integrative” in several respects: It integrates experiences, knowledge and procedures
– from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and
– from Traditional Western Medicine (TWM) and
– from modern medicine and the natural sciences as well as
– from the modern health sciences.
In doing so, ICM focuses on those procedures that we as practitioners really need to know and be able to do in order to improve the quality of life of the people who entrust themselves to us.
What Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can do for us
What is special and actually distinctly modern about TCM is its syndrome diagnosis: TCM procedures are not only selected and applied on a symptom-oriented basis. By recognising complex combinations of symptoms and findings (= syndromes, patterns), TCM can record the systemic condition of patients much more precisely and individually and treat them in a more targeted way. In the meantime, we can also prove with statistical methods (factor analyses) that symptoms and findings of people never occur in arbitrary combinations, but always in these certain patterns, which we call syndromes in TCM.
In ICM, Jeremy Ross has developed a system of so-called differential diagnostic questions that is as sophisticated as it is simple and workable. This methodology allows us practitioners to make a Chinese diagnosis quickly and confidently. We can also master complex cases, because Jeremy Ross also describes in the ICM how syndromes – under certain life circumstances – develop from other syndromes and evolve into other syndromes. By precisely understanding these syndrome realtionships, we in ICM are able to select and apply exactly the right TCM procedures for each patient.
In addition, ICM is based on what is known as Yangsheng – Chinese health promotion and prevention: it incorporates the patients’ self-responsible health-promoting and disease-preventing lifestyle and teaches them appropriate techniques in the sense of self-help. These are mainly techniques of self-massage, Qigong and Chinese dietetics.
What Traditional Western Medicine (TWM) can do for us
The western naturopathic tradition also has a lot to offer us with which we can improve the quality of life of our patients. This is especially true for phytotherapy. As a biologist and botanist, Jeremy Ross at ICM has succeeded in selecting and using the effectiveness of western herbs on the basis of Chinese syndrome diagnostics. This enables us at ICM to adapt Western phytotherapy precisely to the individual patient’s condition and to treat even complex cases effectively.
Just as in TCM, we also know self-help techniques in TWM, which we teach our patients. In this way, they can contribute to becoming healthy or staying healthy on their own responsibility.
What modern medicine and the natural sciences can do for us
In his publications, Jeremy Ross specialises in compiling effective herbal combinations that always refer to the current state of basic pharmaceutical research. It is remarkable how this research has developed in recent years in terms of quantity and quality of studies, And this dynamic seems to continue unabated in the coming years. For us practitioners, it is difficult to keep up with this rapid development. Jeremy Ross and other ICM experts try to keep up to date and pass on their knowledge to the community of ICM practitioners.
What modern health sciences can do for us
Both TCM and TEM have always emphasised and demanded that patients take personal responsibility. This is more important than ever under the current conditions in our health care system: 80% of the causes of death fall to the so-called diseases of civilisation: Cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases, type II diabetes, chronic myofascial pain, immune-deficit diseases up to tumour diseases and stress-related diseases, among others. The share of these diseases in the diagnoses in German general practices is also 80%. And these diseases of civilisation are almost exclusively caused by a stressful lifestyle of the people affected. Conversely, this means that in the case of such diseases, the focus must not be on treatment, but on changing the lifestyle of the patients. To this end, we at the ICM advise and empower our patients to lead a health-promoting and preventive lifestyle. We teach them self-help techniques from TCM and TEM and accompany them over a longer period of time in the sense of modern, health science-based health coaching. In the process, we at the ICM are making the experience that not only sick people are getting involved in this kind of health education, but increasingly also healthy people who want to stay healthy.
How we can learn and implement ICM
Due to its logical and systematic approach, ICM is quick and safe to learn and practicable to implement in daily practice. In cooperation with Jeremy Ross and other ICM experts, numerous media have been developed for this purpose. These are prepared in multimedia form: There are books in English and German, as well as a bilingual website and a Facebook page and YouTube channel, free videos and online courses, webinars and seminars, and basic training.
We are currently working with Jeremy Ross on a software programme that will significantly speed up and facilitate the daily work with patients for practitioners: The programme prepares Jeremy’s knowledge and procedures in such a way that syndromes can be recognised quickly and safely and the appropriate therapy can be determined quickly and safely.