GIST Support Wiki

Integrative Medicine

Also see Member Reports from Holistic Cancer Conferences

The World Health Organization defines health as a "state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Broadly defined, environment includes all physical, biologic, chemical and social factors in the world surrounding an individual. In other words, environment represents everything outside the body that impacts health.

Please feel free to add your experiences or recommendations to the integrative medicine categories listed below, or add a new category!

The term Integrative Medicine has been attributed to Andrew Weil MD, but this phrase was actually coined by the Californian physician and author, Elson Haas MD:

"Integrative medicine is the term being used for a new movement that is being driven by the desires of consumers but that is now getting the attention of many academic health centers. Importantly, integrative medicine is not synonymous with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It has a far larger meaning and mission in that it calls for restoration of the focus of medicine on health and healing and emphasizes the centrality of the patient-physician relationship. In addition to providing the best conventional care, integrative medicine focuses on preventive maintenance of health by paying attention to all relative components of lifestyle, including diet, exercise, stress management, and emotional well-being. It insists on patients being active participants in their health care as well as on physicians viewing patients as whole persons—minds, community members, and spiritual beings, as well as physical bodies."

Government-sponsored clinical trials using CAM:here

Please discover the Annie Appleseed Project at The Annie Appleseed Project, a 501 (c)3 non profit corporation, provides information, education, advocacy and awareness for people with cancer, family and friends interested in natural therapies from the patient perspective.

MD Anderson Cancer Center's website on Complementary and Integrative Medicine here:[1]

From the University of Maryland, this website has a great way to search herb or complimentary medicine interactions:

Personal Experiences

I am a great believer in alternative medicines as well as using the power of the mind to help heal the body.

That being said, I also believe in modern medicine. The two can be used together.

I use meditation and visualization every single day. I eat foods that what I call "close to the source", meaning I try not to eat processed foods. I am also on Gleevec.

I will also have to have surgery to remove my tumor as soon as we are convinced that the drug is working and it has shrunk the tumor.

Why would I deny myself a drug that can help manage the disease or not have surgery that will lengthen my life?

I will continue to visualize and meditate every day, but I won't shun the drug or surgery.