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    Integrative Medicine: The Best of Two Worlds

    02/17/2020

    The State Ministry of Health and Care funds research on integrative medicine in Bavaria. To this end, a cooperation project between the University of Würzburg, the University Hospital of Würzburg, and the Bamberg Hospital has been launched.

    Diffuse Bauchschmerzen kennzeichnen das Reizdarmsyndrom, mit dem sich Wissenschaftler im Rahmen des Projekts IMBAY 2020 befassen.
    Diffuse abdominal pain is a characteristic feature of irritable bowel syndrome, which scientists are investigating in the IMBAY 2020 project. (Image: wilpunt / iStock.com)

    Making the best use of the possibilities of conventional medicine and naturopathy in a holistic approach. This is what many patients expect, this is the claim of Integrative Medicine: to unite the best of two worlds. In addition, Integrative Medicine aims to promote a healthy lifestyle and thus prevent chronic diseases caused by lack of exercise, malnutrition and stress.

    However, this complex approach often lacks reliable scientific findings. This is why the Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care has been funding the „IMBAY-2020 – Integrative Medicine in Bavaria 2020“ project since the beginning of the year, providing the participating partners with a total of 360,000 euros for 18 months.

    The Institute of Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU), the University Hospital of Würzburg (Institute of General Medicine, Working Group Complementary Oncology Integrative – Medical Clinic II/Comprehensive Cancer Center Mainfranken) and the new Clinic for Integrative Medicine at the Bamberg Hospital are jointly implementing the project in close cooperation.

    The irritable bowel syndrome in focus

    IMBAY-2020 consists of three subprojects. One of them deals with the irritable bowel syndrome, which affects about ten percent of the population in Germany. It consists of symptoms such as diffuse abdominal pain or irregularities in digestion for which no organic cause can be found.

    "There are very different therapeutic approaches for these complaints. What is missing so far is a systematic summary and critical evaluation of the naturopathic studies as well as recommendations for lifestyle changes", explains project leader Thomas Keil, Professor for Prevention and Health Promotion at JMU. In close cooperation, the project partners now want to remedy this lack.

    Programme for patients with Crohn's disease

    The second subproject is an intervention study that is being conducted at the Bamberg Hospital under the direction of Professor Jost Langhorst. Its aim is to investigate a multimodal program for stress reduction and lifestyle improvement in the severe Crohn's disease. The 60-hour day clinic program includes seminars and practical exercises on stress management, mindfulness, nutrition and exercise. One focus is on naturopathic applications and self-help strategies.

    Anyone who suffers from Crohn's disease, who lives in Franconia and would like to know more about the IMBAY study can contact the study team by telephone on +49 951 503-11650 or send an e-mail: FIGN@sozialstiftung-bamberg.de

    Professor Jost Langhorst is head of the new Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy, which was founded a year ago together with the research department of the same name at the Bamberg Hospital. "At our clinic, outpatients and inpatients are treated according to a therapy concept that is individually tailored to their needs. In doing so, modern orthodox medical procedures, scientifically proven naturopathy and mindfulness-based modifications of lifestyle are combined with each other and scientifically researched further in studies". This is how Langhorst explains the concept of the clinic.

    Langhorst also holds the endowed chair of "Integrative Medicine" at the University of Duisburg-Essen, which was officially opened at the Bamberg Hospital in January 2020. The chair develops new treatment approaches and evaluates and establishes existing procedures. Its research focuses on chronic intestinal diseases, chronic pain of the musculoskeletal system, fibromyalgia, gynecology and obstetrics.

    Survey on the status of integrative medicine

    In the third sub-project, a Bavaria-wide survey on the status of integrative medicine is being conducted under the joint leadership of the University and the University Hospital of Würzburg (Dr. Claudia Löffler, Medical Clinic II/CCC) among university hospitals and other clinics. The aim is to gain an overview of the spectrum and acceptance of naturopathic procedures and lifestyle interventions in various specialties.

    Contact persons

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Keil, Professor for Prevention and Health Promotion, Institute of Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry at the University of Würzburg, thomas.keil@uni-wuerzburg.de

    Website Prof. Keil

    Prof. Dr. Jost Langhorst, Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy at the Bamberg Hospital, T +49 951 503-11251

    Website Prof. Langhorst

    By Robert Emmerich

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