The future of healing is already being practiced. It called Integrative Medicine (IM), and it is an integration of allopathic (western) medicine, with evidence-based holistic medicine. To my knowledge, the first Integrative Medicine training program is still being taught at the University of Arizona headed Dr. Andrew Weil.
This is sometimes also called "P4" medicine: as in preventive, predictive, personalized and participatory.
I see the future of medicine including the following:
1) Nutritional Medicine - like Functional Medicine, including diet, herbs, nutraceuticals and IV therapy.
2) Mind-Body Medicine - this is use of technology to enhance self-regulation. From biofeedback (like Heart-math), to Brainwave Optimization. Brainwave is especially powerful for undoing trauma's effect on the brain. This also includes practices like meditation.
3) Lifestyle Medicine - addressing exercise, home, relationships, vocation and routine.
4) Energy Medicines - like acupuncture, flower essences, homeopathy, PEMF therapy and the Shambhala Healing Tools.
The Future of Medicine is Nutritional Medicine, Mind-body Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, and Energy Medicines, All Together
Energy Medicines are especially worth noting because they can affect change on the deepest levels, which means healing energetic imbalances, a reality that is only now beginning to be acknowledged by western medical science.
But far the biggest thing happening right now in medicine (other than the legalization of cannabis medicines) is the movement towards Functional Medicine. Thousands of doctors each year in the US alone are now being trained in Functional Medicine, which is a form of biological systems medicine and which incorporates many new discoveries. It is very effective preventive medicine, but a bit too complex to cover in depth here. More on that in an upcoming blog.
Team Medicine: Doctors and Health Coaches
How medicine is being delivered is changing as well. More and more doctors are teaming up with health coaches to deliver medicine in a more preventive, pro-active way. For example, Frank Lipman of Be Well employs a team of 7 health coaches, each with their own area of speciality, from vegan nutrition to gluten-free nutrition to sports nutrition.
We're Seeing Successful Membership-Based Models, and Health Care Teams Comprising a Doctor and Multiple Health Coaches
Group Visits and Tele-medicine
To keep delivery affordable, more and more doctors are hosting group visits for people with a condition in common, and offering tele-medicine with a health coach as needed. Also medicine will also be increasingly cloud-based, with your own health metrics (like vitamin D or cholesterol levels) available to you anytime via your computer, and your tracking devices (like your FitBit) sending metrics directly to your health coach on a daily basis.
A good example of a practice that is doing all of these things is Parsley Health.
But since the future of medicine is more 'pro-active' and 'preventive', it will also include how we care for ourselves.
Medicine is increasingly becoming something YOU DO, than just something done to you. I mean lifestyle as medicine, like yoga, or herbs or meditation. So you work everyday to keep yourself well through practices that rejuvenate and regenerate you, and your doctor and health coach help to keep your on that track.
The Evolution of Medicine, book by James Maskell
Functional Forum - online Integrative Medicine conference hosted by James Maskell
Institute for Functional Medicine - very likely the next step for primary care
Health Talks Online - free webinars from health leaders every month