ITM has inspired a unique educational vision in the heart of North America’s most multi-cultural city. We are committed to the integration of the world’s traditional medicines and wisdom traditions with conventional and modern healthcare approaches.
Our professional educational programs span the medical arts and sciences, spirituality, ecology, sustainability, end of life care, mediation and social justice, and are open to all. We foster a community of learning that inspires the growth and expansion of not only the individual, but those of the community. We are dedicated to cultivating a community of learning that encourages the promotion of supportive, open and transparent communication amongst our students, faculty, administration and alumni. Since our inception, we have developed programs that motivate our community to apply their intellect, resources and learning for the betterment of the world. We endeavour to offer the highest level of training possible in traditional and integrative medicine and interdisciplinary studies. This vision is fuelled by our long-term initiatives; to establish community-based health care options both within North America as well as abroad, which integrate traditional medical practices with conventional approaches to healthcare. We envision societies in which Integrative and Sustainable Medicine is accessible and available to all. Integrative Medicine embraces all available therapeutic options, whether they are traditional or conventional techniques and modalities, and acknowledges the importance of the practitioner/doctor and patient relationship. The focus of Integrative Medicine is the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, and it accomplishes these goals by providing affordable, less-invasive and effective healthcare options. It is a system of medicine that addresses a human’s natural healing potential, and integrates the ‘whole person’, including the psycho-social-spiritual and physical dimensions, into all treatment sessions. Sustainable Medicine is the crux in which all other areas of sustainable development evolves. It is our belief that medicine must benefit not the human alone, but all beings, and nature itself. Medicine must include a systemic approach to health.
“Traditional medicine includes diverse health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs, incorporating plant or mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to maintain well-being, as well as to treat, diagnose or prevent illness.” World Health Organization (Traditional Medicine Strategy).
Traditional medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. World Health Organization
Traditional medicine is rooted in a philosophical understanding which engages a multitude of healing methods that have been preserved for generations through stories, oral teachings, ceremonies, and through written documentation. It is deeply embedded in relationships - relationship to one’s own healing abilities, to one’s connection with others, to nature and to the environment. Community is central to the practice of traditional medicine. A systemic approach, which addresses the wellbeing of all beings and nature is essential to the practice of traditional medicine. When we refer to the term ‘Traditional Medicine’, we include the global First Nations and Indigenous communities, and Chinese, African, Ayurvedic and Tibetan Buddhist modalities. We also consider the generations of women and men who have made enormous sacrifices to keep these lineages alive.
We include as well, today’s practitioners; it is their dedication to perfect their art and science and train a new generation of practitioners and healers, that keeps the pulse of traditional medicine alive today.
When our students learn these rich traditions, philosophies and ways of being, they begin to look at the world in such a way that spirituality, health and well-being are inextricably bound together. At the center of these wisdom traditions is concern for relationship and balance – a human being’s relationship to themselves, their families and friends and the larger community of beings that comprises the web of life.
Thus, health is not a concern that arises when we are not well. Rather, health, as our students understand and practice it, is concerned with how we are in the world – every step and every breath. Traditional medicine is a practice of the human spirit, cultivated through humble listening and communication with the rhythms and elemental forces of life.
When you have an opportunity to work with one of ITM’s graduates, you will encounter, not simply an acupuncturist or student of herbal medicine, rather you will be working with an integrative health practitioner who possesses the professional aptitude and personal qualities to guide you to health by reintroducing you to the doctor that resides within you.