Integrative medicine combines the best of conventional medicine with safe, effective evidence-based complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage and yoga. At Boston Medical Center, the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities offers patients and staff a variety of integrative services.
The Initiative for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities within the Department of Family Medicine was created in 2004. The mission of the Program is to substantially impact the quality of life for the urban underserved through providing access to integrative medicine clinical services, research and education.
Currently, there is an incredible demand for integrative services at BMC. Approximately 1,500 patients a year benefit from one or more of the safe, evidence-based therapies offered free of charge at the center, which include acupuncture, massage, yoga and chi gong. The program partners with schools, such as the New England School of Acupuncture, to create internship programs for students seeking experience in the clinical setting.
Robert Saper, MD, MPH, leads BMC’s integrative medicine effort, which relies entirely on grants, private philanthropy and volunteers to operate, and his colleagues study disparities in complementary and alternative medicine, their implications and strategies to address them. Recently, the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine awarded two grants to the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities at BMC and the Boston University School of Medicine, including a $2.75 million grant to compare the effectiveness of yoga to physical therapy for the treatment of chronic lower back pain in low-income minorities.
Learn more about BMC’s integrative medicine program at their official website.
To this day, I have trouble putting into words the experience of that first treatment. …it was magical. My lungs felt like they just opened up. I immediately found less need for my respiratory meds, and all my inhalation medicines started lasting longer through the month. I also had drastic digestive system improvements. It was amazing. - Barrie Magee, BMC patient.