In this section you will find proposals, strategies and health models oriented to strengthen and promote health from the perspectives of Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM), its therapies and related practices.
For the WHO, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or illness. (1) This is why it is necessary to take into account the integrative approaches that TCIM can bring to the strengthening of health.
Most of the medical systems and therapies of the TCIM group seek to guide individuals, families and communities with their conceptual bases in the incorporation of daily practices that lead them to strengthen and maintain health and prevent disease. Among the different strategies suggested, healthy eating habits, the incorporation of physical activity and changes in family, work and environmental relationships that lead to emotional and mental wellbeing are generally included (2)(3)(4).
To mention some examples that will be expanded in this section, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), proposes a diet based on the characteristics of food, such as the quality of cold / heat, flavors and colors and, additionally, depending on the patient, their constitution, time and season, a "diet" is designed to strengthen their health and prevent disease. Furthermore, the practices suggested by TCM are Taichi and Qi-Gong, as well as meditation, proper management of emotions, and contemplative exercises of the cycles of nature, to act in synchrony with the environment and ensure emotional and mental well-being (5)(6).
There are studies and research that demonstrate the effectiveness of some of these strategies for health promotion and disease prevention, as well as for the management of pathologies (7)(8).
Sometimes, in the delivery of health services, both in Western medical models and in complementary therapeutic clinical models, clinical care is oriented to the resolution of the diseases consulted by patients, which are derived from diverse circumstances. For this reason, it is necessary to remember the importance of developing strategies to strengthen health and good living, taking into account the health paradigms centered on people and their wellbeing and not only on the treatment of diseases (9)(10).
It is important to highlight the proposals that contribute to the strengthening of health from the TCIM, and to create health models that articulate the intercultural perspective, facilitate the integration of these practices as guarantors of comprehensive programs, focused on individuals, families and communities, inclusive and responsible with health (2).
The models and practices for strengthening health from the TCIM can be classified as follows:
- Healthy eating patterns
- Physical activity models
- Models to strengthen emotional and mental state
- Contributions of the TCIM to strengthen mental health
- Physical well-being and strengthening the immune system
- Contributions of TCIM to stress management
- Food and nutrition from TCIM to strengthen health
- Self-care of health professionals
- Contributions of TCIM to Occupational Health
- TCIM perspectives on spiritual health
- TCIM strategies for dealing with Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
- OMS. Organización Mundial de la Salud. Constitución de la OMS: principios [Internet]. WHO World Health Organization; 2014. https://apps.who.int/gb/bd/PDF/bd48/basic-documents-48th-edition-sp.pdf.
- Hawk C, Adams J, Hartvigsen J. The Role of CAM in Public Health, Disease Prevention, and Health Promotion. Evidence-Based Complement Altern Med [Internet]. 2015 Dec 27;2015:1–2. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/528487/.
- Hill FJ. Complementary and alternative medicine: the next generation of health promotion? Health Promot Int [Internet]. 2003 Sep;18(3):265–72. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12920147.
- Long AF. The potential of complementary and alternative medicine in promoting well-being and critical health literacy: a prospective, observational study of shiatsu. BMC Complement Altern Med [Internet]. 2009 Dec 18;9(1):19. http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-9-19.
- Koithan M, Wright C. Promoting Optimal Health with Traditional Chinese Medicine. J Nurse Pract [Internet]. 2010 Apr 1;6(4):306–7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689727.
- Kok BE, Coffey KA, Cohn MA, Catalino LI, Vacharkulksemsuk T, Algoe SB, et al. How Positive Emotions Build Physical Health. Psychol Sci [Internet]. 2013 Jul 6;24(7):1123–32. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797612470827.
- Jahnke R, Larkey L, Rogers C, Etnier J, Lin F. A comprehensive review of Health benefits of Qigong and Tai chi. Am J Health Promot [Internet]. 2010;24(6):e1–25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594090.
- Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EMS, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, et al. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being. JAMA Intern Med [Internet]. 2014 Mar 1;174(3):357. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13018.
- Fritts M, Calvo A, Jonas W, Bezold C. Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities: A Scoping Meeting. Explor J Sci Heal [Internet]. 2009 Jul 1;5(4):228–41. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1550830709001700.
- Barrett B, Marchand L, Scheder J, Appelbaum D, Plane MB, Blustein J, et al. What complementary and alternative medicine practitioners say about health and health care. Ann Fam Med [Internet]. 2004 May 1;2(3):253–9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15209203.