Historical and cultural perspectives on integrative medicine

Richard P. Petri, Roxana E. Delgado, Kimberly Mcconnell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The field of medicine dates back to ancient times. Early practices were adopted by subsequent societies. Cultures had significant influences over many aspects of life. Globally, there is a health care crisis of inadequate delivery and less-than-optimal outcomes despite all the advancements and evidence provided by modern biomedicine. North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries represent diverse cultures and societal experiences and, collectively, may offer new perspectives in the evolution of health care delivery. Objective: A retrospective review of the influences of ancient practices and cultures is provided. This can serve as a foundation for a prospective discussion about integrating the various current systems into a better paradigm of health care. Methods: This article discusses the impact of historical and cultural perspectives on medicine in general and on specifically integrative medicine (IM). The origins of some IM modalities are highlighted. Conclusions: History reveals that new medical paradigms were a blending of old traditions with new innovations. Changes occurred because society questioned old methods. Today the situation is not different. The field of IM is evolving as a result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Acupuncture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Complementary and Alternative
  • Culture
  • Historical Perspective
  • Integrative Medicine
  • NATO
  • Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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