Healthcare Models and TCIM approaches for Health Strengthening
In this section you can find Proposals, Strategies, and Models of health aimed to strengthen and promote health from the perspective of Traditional, Complementary, and Integrative Medicine, and related Therapies and Practices (TCIM).
The definition of Health for the WHO is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. For this reason, it is important to take into consideration the integrative approach adopted by TCIM to strengthen health (1).
Most medical systems and therapies of the TCIM group aim, in their conceptual and philosophical base, to guide individuals, families, and communities in the inclusion of daily strategies that strengthen and keep their health and prevent diseases. Many of the different strategies that can lead to emotional and mental wellbeing include healthy eating habits, physical activity, and adequate relationships with family, work, and environment (2)(3)(4) .
To mention some examples that will be expanded in this section, the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) proposes a diet based on the characteristics of each food, such as the cold/hot quality, flavor, and color. Additionally, the TCM proposes a specific “diet” for each individual according to the constitution, the location, the weather and season of the year. The exercises suggested by the TCM are Taichi and Qi-Gong, as well as meditation, proper management of emotions, and contemplative practices of the nature cycles, working in synchrony with the environment to guarantee emotional and mental wellbeing (5)(6).
Studies and research show the effectiveness of some of these strategies in the contexts of strengthening and promoting health and preventing diseases, as well as in management of the different pathologies (7)(8).
Sometimes, when providing healthcare, both in western medical models and in complementary therapeutic clinical models, care is directed to solve the diseases patients consult, which can be because different circumstances. That is why it is necessary to remember the implementation of strategies towards strengthening health and wellbeing and not only in the treatment of the specific disease (9)(10).
It is important to highlight the TCIM proposals and strategies to strengthen health and create health models that can approach an intercultural perspective and facilitate the integration of these strategies in health systems, to guarantee the development of full programs centered on people, families, communities, and that are inclusive and responsible about health (2).
TCIM models and strategies to strengthen health include:
- Healthy eating models
- Physical activity models
- Models to strengthen emotional and mental status