Technology is the driving force of contemporary medicine; but sometimes science and technology, as always, in the moment in which create new opportunities, create new problems. Sectoralisation in medicine may represent, at the same time, the strength and his extreme weakness. Today science offers us new opportunities in its various sectors that can be perceived only from open minds; i mean the translational aspect of the discoveries. Knowledges in other field can usefully be transferred in personal clinical area. This forms the basis of Integration, a new philosophy of science.
Integrative medicine is a combination of conventional medicine and other healing modalities not commonly taught in Western medical schools. In addition to incorporating all of the incredible advances of medication and technology, integrative medicine emphasizes nutrition, life-style, and attention to mind-body influences. Integrated Cardiology (IC) represents a new approach in therapeutic strategy of cardiovascular disease.
IC focus attention on non conventional therapies, like nutrition, low dose therapy, herbal medicine, meta¬bolic cardiology, acupuncture, Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine-Immunology (PNEI), immunomodulation through the intervention on microbioma, complementary therapy of low grade chronic inflammation. IC emphasizes the mind-body connection, and the evidence that depression, anxiety, and stress are not only risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease, but lead to adverse outcomes, including cardiac death and disease progression. Techniques that deals with depression, anxiety, and stress using stress management programs, relaxation therapy, and physical activity, are therapies that can be as effective or more as drugs in many patients.
Since the second half of the 80s the development of the Psycho-Neuro-Endocrine-Immunology concepts result in a change of perspective, from a separatist point of view to an unifying one, relating to the interpretation of the biological functions of the body. A key point is the recognition of the importance of continuous cross-talk between cells, organs and systems in both physiological and pathological conditions based on the fine regulation of the levels of a large number of messenger molecules.
Interpreting the pathological phenomenon as an imbalance in intercellular signaling, the administration of low physiological doses of messenger molecules (which act as homeostatic modulating agents) can be considered an intriguing and innovative approach in order to restore the correct intracellular signaling and consequently to restore healthy conditions; these concepts are the milestones of Low Dose Medicine. Five years of scientific research in the field of Low Dose Medicine demonstrated the validity of the conceptual approach and efficacy and safety of the therapeutic intervention based on the oral administration of low doses of activated messenger molecules.
Exercise, botanicals, meta¬bolic cardiology, acupuncture, spirituality, mind-body approaches, and energy medicine are topics at the center of an integrative approach. Nutrition focuses on the primacy of food as medicine for maintaining heart health. IC considers the potential of nutrition equivalent to that of drug therapy. Exercise helps in maintaining heart health, and will be incorporated into a successful heart health program. The herbal medicine has a pivotal role in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease; should be useful in lowering blood pressure, improving lipid profiles, and reducing symptoms of congestive failure.
Metabolic cardiology describes how biochemical interventions with nutritional supplements can promote energy production in the heart. The role of coenzyme Q10, 1-carnitine, d-ribose, and magnesium for support of cardiac systolic and diastolic function is recently highlighted. Acupuncture may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of hypertension, and has a promising role in the future of cardiology.
Many medical conditions, hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and cardiac surgery can benefit of this olistic approach. As prevention is the cornerstone of integrative medicine we highlights powerful opportunities afforded by nutritional approaches, lifestyle changes, and supplements, combined with conservative use of medication. The importance of evaluation for inherited risk factors that go beyond traditional cholesterol tests is a corner stone of IC.
We hope that you will find Journal of Integrative Cardiology (JIC) a useful outlet for your research and a useful source of information, evidence and debate.