Note: Items within this content were created prior to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and do not demonstrate proper pandemic protocols. Please follow all recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for masking and social distancing.
Your health, your wellness
Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine and Health offers services for your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health and well-being. Integrative medicine is an approach to health care that includes practices not traditionally part of conventional medicine, such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, dietary supplements, wellness coaching and meditation. In many situations, as evidence of their effectiveness and safety grows, these therapies are used with conventional medicine.
Mayo Clinic Connect
- Healthy Living
- Smoking and Quitting
Integrative approaches are used to help people with medical conditions — including cancer, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, diabetes and many others — feel better by reducing fatigue, nausea, pain and anxiety. Whether your condition is severe and sudden (acute) or long-term (chronic), your integrative medicine care team works closely with you and your other health care providers to understand and address your needs.
Your experience with Mayo Clinic Integrative Medicine and Health is supported by:
- Experts proficient in many health and wellness practices. Each year Mayo Clinic’s integrative medicine experts treat thousands of people with a range of approaches that quiet the mind, soothe the body and restore the spirit. Mayo Clinic is a member of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.
- Team-based care focused on you. Mayo Clinic’s integrative medicine specialists listen to your concerns. They may suggest therapies that can be built into your comprehensive treatment plan.
- Innovative and evidence-based research. The evidence-based approaches suggested by your care team have been tested for effectiveness and safety. Our experts study and improve practices that help people and work well with conventional medical treatments. Talk with your health care provider about clinical trials of integrative medicine practices that may benefit you.
You may select from a range of services, including stress management and resilience training, massage therapy, mind-body therapies, acupuncture, animal-assisted therapy, aromatherapy, yoga, tai chi, and botanicals and supplements consultation. Availability of services varies among Mayo Clinic locations. Please confirm with your health care provider or when you contact the clinic.
Mayo Clinic Minute: What is integrative health and how can it help?
When you’re sick, medication or even surgery may be just what the doctor orders. Dr. Adam Perlman, an integrative health specialist at Mayo Clinic, asks an additional question.
“What else can we do to really improve our sense of well-being?”
That’s where acupuncture, yoga or tai chi may be integrated into an overall plan of care. Dr. Perlman describes it as “really helping people to go beyond the treatment of disease and pathophysiology, to really a place where they are optimizing their vitality.”
Evidence shows, for instance, that acupuncture can help with chronic pain and may be recommended to those with cancer, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
Tai chi helps with balance and reduces falls in older adults. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.
But, Dr. Perlman says, it’s not just what you do with your body that’s important.
“Other things that tend to impact our health and well-being are things like gratitude and relationships.”
For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I’m Vivien Williams.
During a consultation, you talk with a health care provider trained in integrative medicine and health. Together, you develop a treatment plan tailored to your goals for health and well-being. Your plan may include one or more of the integrative practices available. Bring to this appointment a list of supplements and medications that you take, including doses.
Your health care provider may recommend:
- In-hospital animal-assisted therapy
- Dietary supplements and botanicals
- Exercise, activity or mindful movement, such as yoga or tai chi
- Massage therapy
- Health and wellness coaching
- Lifestyle medicine consultation
- Stress management and resilience training
- Mind-body therapies
- Nutrition consultation
- Wellness classes
What Mayo Clinic experts say about integrative medicine
Acupuncture: It may help ease chronic pain, lessen nausea during chemotherapy and reduce fatigue.
Mind-body practices: Medication, relaxation practices and resilience training can ease blood pressure, pain and more.
Medical massage: Sessions with a trained therapist can boost mood and relieve pain from fibromyalgia, cancer and more.
Supplements and botanicals: There’s evidence some may help. Always check with your provider so other treatments aren’t affected.
Animal-assisted therapy: Connecting with furry friends can relieve pain, anxiety and stress for some with chronic disease.
Resilience training: Learning resilience practices can help you bounce back from stress, in body and mind.
Guidance from the experts at Mayo Clinic.
Stress management and resilience training
Resilience education and training teaches positive strategies for managing stress and developing resilience. The program offers individual or group sessions in the Stress Management and Resiliency Training program.
Massage therapy for people in the hospital
Massage therapy may be used to help you feel better as you undergo treatment for an injury or condition.
Massage therapy may be offered on an outpatient basis or to people who are admitted to the hospital. Mayo researchers have found that this integrative medicine practice can reduce pain, anxiety and tension in people facing or recovering heart surgery, breast cancer, colon surgery and other procedures. Mayo Clinic massage therapists provide massage therapy to thousands of people each year.
Mayo Clinic’s massage therapists have sought additional training in techniques such as acupressure, reflexology, mobilization of scar tissue and craniosacral therapy. A board-certified massage therapist works with you and uses techniques based on your needs and goals. The massage therapist may offer other suggestions as well, such as aromatherapy or relaxation resources.
Acupuncture is one of the world’s oldest recognized medical therapies. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine and embraced by many people, including those who practice conventional medicine, as a safe and effective treatment for many conditions.
You are treated by a doctor trained in acupuncture or a licensed acupuncture practitioner supervised by a doctor. Mayo Clinic acupuncture specialists perform more than 1,400 acupuncture treatments each year.
Techniques include acupuncture with manual and electrical stimulation, acupressure, and cupping. Treatments are tailored to your needs, concerns and diagnosis. Mayo Clinic treatment rooms dedicated to acupuncture have soft music and gentle lighting to help you relax while your practitioner places the needles. A typical acupuncture visit is 45 to 60 minutes.
Meditation can help promote physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
There are many mind-body therapies, such as meditation, paced breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and biofeedback. These therapies are used to relax and rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit. Many people find that mind-body therapies help them refocus and gain inner peace.
Botanicals and supplements consultation
Botanicals and supplements are marketed and taken like medications but regulated like foods. They can interact with medications and each other, resulting in side effects or suboptimal treatment. During a botanicals and supplements consultation, you talk with a pharmacist who is an expert on these popular products and learn about how their potential risks and side effects might affect your health and well-being.
Yoga is one of several approaches that enhance the mind-body connection.