BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies attends the 2024 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health

This spring, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies flew to Cleveland to attend the 2024 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health. Boasting over 750 attendees, 72 member institutions represented, 263 poster presentations, and 18 countries represented, the meeting became the intersection for traditional and integrative medicine health practitioners, researchers, and whole health champions to build on existing collaborations, enrich discussions and advance research in the field of integrative medicine.

In this blog, Dr Anastasia Widyadari, the Editor of BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, will be sharing her experience and highlights of the congress. Read her interview with Editorial Board Member Dr Jeremy Y. Ng at the congress here.

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to travel to Cleveland this April to attend the 2024 International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health and represent BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. Attracting a wide range of experts in whole health research, the congress provided the journal an excellent platform to dig deeper into the field of traditional and integrative medicine.

The meeting covered a vast number of topics from food as medicine, to mind-body therapies and spirituality. Every morning, to make sure we started the day off nicely, the congress offered wellness sessions, from Tai Chi and Qigong, to 80’s inspired High-intensity interval training (HIIT), to Self-healing meditation. With 18 oral abstract sessions, 6 plenary sessions, 45 concurrent sessions, the congress was an excellent place to connect and learn from renowned experts in the field. 

“When the rivers and lakes are well, you are well” – Nicole Redvers 

It was a privilege to listen in to Dr Nicole Redvers, Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Planetary Health at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. Their talk titled “Traditional Indigenous Medicine: An Exploration of Healing” offered insights into indigenous methodologies of healing and health, with Land-based healing approaches as a main focus. She discussed how the lack of regard for indigenous traditional knowledge has pervaded branches of Western and modern science and clinical practice. Her knowledge into the cosmocentric worldview –a cosmology of conservation where people, animals, plants, rivers, stones, clouds, etc., each played a role in maintaining the world– was very insightful (Lucero, 2018).

“Often what we need is the other person to just be loving, peaceful and kind.” – Lama Michel Tulku Rinpoche

The plenary session by Lama Michel Tulku Rinpoche and Dr. Christina Puchalski, on “Nurturing Whole-Person Well Being through Spirituality”, was eye-opening. Their discussion traversed through the importance of finding balance within the body and mind by taking into account the crucial role of spiritual health in whole person compassionate care. They provided insightful advice for health professionals on how to be fully present for the patient they are caring for. 

“We forget about Joy” – Geeta Maker-Clark

Highlights from the concurrent sessions include Dr Geeta Maker-Clark‘s talk on “Dance as Medicine: The Embodiment of Culture, Creativity and Connection for Whole Person Health and Wellbeing”. The speakers gave insights into the history and power of dance as integrative health therapy and also got us up on our feet to dance!

The talk on “Psychedelic Medicine: A Journey into the History, Cultural-Roots, Science, Therapeutics and Potentials” by a multi-institute team of speakers with expertise in psychedelic medicine was really engaging. A lot of knowledge was shared on the origins of psychedelic medicine as well as current best practices for clinicians.

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies is looking forward to attending more International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health meetings. Thank you and congratulations to all the organizers for another successful year!

In 2024, BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies aims to develop its potential further. Interested in joining the Editorial board? Join us.

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