Integrated Medical Practice

Integrative practices offer a multidisciplinary approach to client care within the Western medical model by combining complementary therapies with Western medicine. An example would be Therapeutic Touch prescribed by a doctor as a treatment for shingles in conjunction with the prescribed drug regime. Download  Therapeutic Touch in Integrative Medicine

Therapeutic Touch is an evidence-based complementary therapy that enhances existing treatment methods, integrating body, mind, emotion, and spirit.

The North American Nursing Diagnosis Association [NANDA] has recently approved the diagnosis “Imbalanced Energy Field” to be included in their publication, Nursing Diagnoses 2015-17: Definitions and Classification. This textbook is used in nursing programs in colleges and universities across Canada. Nurses interested in adding Therapeutic Touch to their practice are encouraged to join the Complementary Therapies Nurses' Interest Group [RNAO-CTNIG].

Here is an excerpt from the home page of their website:

The RNAO-CTNIG is a professional support group for Registered Nurses interested in or practicing Complementary Therapies (CT). CT are being used by Canadians more than most healthcare professionals are aware of. In many countries they have already become a part of healthcare, and we are seeing an increase use and interest here in Ontario. More nurses are using CT more as part of their practice, or encountering clients who have incorporated, or are interested in CT as part of their prevention or action plan of care. We see CT as a valuable tool in their toolbox, be they practice a form of CT or advocate for them. Nurses in the growing field of CT benefit from sharing their experiences with one another and developing common strategies and it is our hope that one way to achieve this will be through the CTNIG that this will be accomplished.

The CTNIG is assisting the RNAO of fulfilling its mandate of "speaking out for health, speaking out for nursing." We are doing this by supporting CT nurses and those clients who are seeking CT, by acting as a resource for nurses and others, and through raising the profile of RNs who practice complementary therapies, We hope to bring to light the role CT can play in the health of our population using a mind-body-spirit approach: hence a HOLISTIC approach to care. It is also through the support and sharing of research we aim to integrate CT in healthcare.

See more at:

Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) Policy of the
College of Physicians and Surgeons

The College of Physicians and Surgeons have a policy in place for complementary/alternative medicine. Download it here.

Some Highlights of the Policy

Health Care Decisions
Patients are entitled to make treatment decisions and to set health care goals that accord with their own wishes, values and beliefs. This includes decisions to pursue complementary/alternative medicine either as an adjunct to conventional medicine, or
instead of conventional medicine.


This policy applies to all physicians who are involved with CAM.

The General Expectations section contains content that is applicable to all physicians.

The Specific Expectations section contains content that is applicable to three physician roles:
physicians who practise CAM, either as the primary focus of their practice, or in addition to conventional medicine;
physicians who practise conventional medicine only, but whose patients pursue CAM;
and physicians, regardless of the nature of their practice, who wish to form professional affiliations with CAM clinics, therapies, or devices.


Physicians providing CAM must reach a conventional diagnosis.

If physicians also reach a CAM diagnosis, that diagnosis must be based on the clinical assessment conducted and other relevant information, be supported by sound clinical judgment and informed by evidence and science.

CAM diagnoses that do not satisfy these requirements are not acceptable diagnoses.

Therapeutic Options
Any CAM therapeutic option that is recommended by physicians must be informed by evidence and science, and it must:

  • Have a logical connection to the diagnosis reached;
  • Have a reasonable expectation of remedying or alleviating the patient’s health condition or symptoms; and
  • Possess a favourable risk/benefit ratio based on: the merits of the option, the potential interactions with other treatments the patient is receiving, the conventional therapeutic options available, and other considerations the physician deems relevant.

Physicians must never recommend therapeutic options that have been proven to be ineffective through scientific study.

Patient Use of CAM and Documentation
In order to provide safe, high quality conventional medical care, physicians must have complete, accurate information about their patients. This includes information about any CAM that patients may be pursuing or may wish to pursue.

The College advises physicians to inquire about patient use of CAM on a regular basis. This might involve incorporating questions about CAM into annual health exams, and/or patient assessments for specific health conditions or ailments.

Where patients are pursuing CAM, physicians should note this fact in the patient’s medical record, along with any details of the therapy the patient is able to provide.

Discussing CAM
When asked for information about CAM, physicians must respond in a professional manner, within the limits of their knowledge, skill and judgment.

Physicians may wish to consider whether they can assist patients in obtaining reliable and accurate information about the CAM modality or intervention in question. This may involve suggesting potential resources, or referring patients to other practitioners where doing so is in the best interests of the patient, and will support informed decision making.

Medical Practitioners interested in learning more about Therapeutic Touch can contact us here.