Advocating for integrative medicine: providers' stories of resonance, negotiation, and community

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Courtney Hook
Brielle Plump
Patricia Geist-Martin *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Patricia Geist-Martin | pgeist@mail.sdsu.edu

Abstract

Integrative medicine (IM) is a holistic health care option that blends complementary, alternative medicine with biomedical models of care. Many medical care facilities do not offer IM treatment for patients, yet the demand for IM is growing. Therefore, IM providers are in the position of educating and promoting IM to patients and other medical practitioners. There is limited research literature focusing on how IM providers communicate advocacy for IM. Therefore, this research is designed to explore the perspectives of providers about the ways that they communicate advocacy for IM in their lives and their medical practice. Interview data we collected at The Center reveals the ways that IM providers continuously advocate for IM through their resonance with IM philosophy, by negotiating systemic tensions that revolve around IM, and by forming communities of practice with patients and other providers. Results of this investigation offer insight about IM, communication, and advocacy.


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