Over recent years, applying an integrated approach to wellbeing has become increasingly popular in the UK.
This is hallmarked by a subsequent rise in complementary therapies to support more conventional treatments. The main aim is to apply a holistic approach to care by supporting the whole health of a person, who plays an active part in achieving optimal wellness.
At UCLH, The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) is Europe’s largest public sector for integrated medicine and is solely dedicated to the field. The hospital offers modern conventional techniques as well as clinical services to treat a wide range of treatment – including women’s health, complementary cancer care, allergy services, skin clinics, acupuncture, rheumatology service, children’s service, weight loss management, organic insomnia, musculoskeletal medicine and stress management.
The RLHIM practises integrated theories that are evidence-based and in line with NICE guidelines. All clinics are led by consultants, doctors and other registered healthcare professionals who have received additional training in complementary medicine.
Arguably one of the most in demand practise is western medical acupuncture, a modern adaption of traditional acupuncture based on contemporary knowledge of anatomy and neurophysiology. Acupuncture is administered for complex disorders like muscular sclerosis and also more common problems, like tension-type headaches, migraines and lower back pain.
In 2013, the RHILM became the first NHS trust to offer acupuncture as standard provision to help relieve pain during childbirth. Studies have proven that acupuncture can reduce labour intensity, increase patient satisfaction and limit the use of pharmacological analgesia and epidural anaesthesia.
The fund facilitates the implementation and training for complementary treatments and also supports investigative research studies into the practise.