Centre for Integrative Medicine

Canadians are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in overwhelming numbers. A 2006 report by the Fraser Institute found that 74% of Canadians had used at least one complementary therapy at some point in their lives. That is, nearly three-quarters of the population regularly incorporate complementary therapies into their health practices, often without discussing their therapy choices with their conventional healthcare provider. But how do complementary therapies work? How do they interact with conventional medical treatments?

The Centre for Integrative Medicine has been established to answer these questions. A partnership between the University of Toronto (U of T) and The Scarborough Hospital (TSH), the Centre harnesses the considerable scientific and clinical expertise of these two institutions to evaluate CAM and its integration with conventional medicine. It brings together researchers from U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine alongside health care professionals at TSH to provide evidence-based practices to ensure patients make informed choices about the safe and effective use of CAM therapies as part of their health care. These therapies include many different practices and products such as:

  • Natural health products (e.g., vitamins, minerals, herbal therapies)
  • Mind-body therapies (e.g., meditation, relaxation therapy)
  • Physical and movement therapies (e.g., massage therapy, chiropractic, yoga)
  • Energy therapies (e.g., acupuncture, reiki)
  • Whole systems (e.g., Chinese medicine, naturopathic medicine, aboriginal healing traditions)