The Science of Integrative Medicine

In partnership with
Professor Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program
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80% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 1948
Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Learn how simple changes in nutrition, exercise, stress management, and social support affected test subjects and can affect you.
  • numbers Examine the scientific evidence that demonstrates both the effectiveness of acupuncture and the medical conditions it has been known to help alleviate.
  • numbers Examine the phenomenon of the mind-body connection to see how you can positively influence your mind in order to improve your body.
  • numbers Discover why no herbal supplement is necessarily good" or "bad," and learn why it is so important to use supplements responsibly."
  • numbers Get suggestions on how to approach the topic of integrative medicine with your primary care physician or a specialist

Course Overview

Perhaps you’ve heard rumors about an herbal supplement that acts as the Fountain of Youth, improves your mood, and helps you lose weight. Maybe you’ve considered trying hypnosis to stop smoking, but you’ve heard it might be just a waste of money. You may be curious about how getting stuck with many sharp needles can actually alleviate pain and stress—when it seems like it should do the opposite.

If you’ve ever considered herbal supplements, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, or even a change of diet to promote better health, then you already know that the subject of what’s been called “alternative medicine” is both intriguing, offering help for conditions that might seem hopeless, and controversial, with its effectiveness touted by some and scoffed at by others.

The Science of Integrative Medicine, produced in collaboration with Mayo Clinic—widely regarded as one of the finest health institutions on the planet—provides you with 12 informative lectures on the science-based facts and historical context of commonly used integrative treatments. Delivering a foundational explanation of this wide and diverse new field of medicine, this course is designed to empower you and give you the knowledge you need to explore how to use these techniques to improve your wellness. Taught by Brent Bauer, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, this course provides you with an illuminating exploration of many genuinely beneficial treatments.

In the last two decades, as a wide array of practices have gained greater acceptance as potential forms of treatment and healing, the terms used to describe them have evolved as well. Complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, was once the common name for therapies once considered “alternative” or “unorthodox.” Today, as physicians integrate more of these treatments into their medical practices, the term CAM has given way to integrative medicine.

Integrative medicine describes the integration of natural or holistic practices into the health-care paradigm to complement conventional Western medicine and promote wellness. Western medicine can accomplish incredible feats of healing, but as advanced as it is, it still doesn’t have cures for everything. Relying solely on conventional Western medicine, people often wait until they have serious health problems before seeking care—but integrative medicine includes many practices that are particularly good for preventing certain conditions and ameliorating the effects of others, making it a valuable adjunct to conventional care.

The therapies discussed in this course have been shown to help people reach health goals such as pre-surgery preparation, post-surgery recovery, and better management—and reduction—of chronic pain. The advent of integrative medicine has been revolutionizing Western medical care as doctors realize that their options for patient care can be expanded to a plethora of complementary practices that directly benefit wellness and can help alleviate, prevent, or remedy issues such as arthritis, chronic back or neck pain, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, stress, heart disease, menopause, and the common cold.

Tour the Most Common Integrative Practices

In The Science of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Bauer, of Mayo Clinic, introduces you to more than a dozen scientifically tested, integrative approaches and explains what they do and do not treat, empowering you to take your health options into your own hands. He leads you through the science and history of some of the most common practices and discusses the pros and cons of each. He also offers suggestions for when and how you might consider talking to your doctor about including these therapies in your wellness plan. Through this course, you’ll learn about:

Treatments by professionals:

  • Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles at strategic points on the body. It is commonly used to treat nausea, fibromyalgia, and many kinds of pain.
  • Hypnosis induces a trance-like state where the mind is more open to suggestion. Hypnosis may be used to help manage pain, anxiety, and tension headaches, as well as to treat addiction and change negative patterns of behavior.
  • Massage can address pain, anxiety, tension, and chronic conditions, as well as aid in pre-surgery preparation and post-surgery healing.
  • Spinal manipulation is practiced by chiropractors and physical therapists. It can be particularly helpful for lower back pain.

Treatments you can do on your own:

  • Meditation involves calming and clearing the mind. It is used to help treat anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, acute or chronic pain, and many other issues.
  • Music therapy can benefit your mental and physical health. It may help people with Alzheimer’s disease and autism, as well as depression.
  • Guided imagery involves bringing to mind a specific image or a series of memories to produce certain responses in the body. It’s used to treat headaches and some forms of pain.
  • Spirituality often involves an individual’s connection to others and a search for meaning and happiness in life. These connections have been shown to help people deal with medical illness and chronic disease.

And physical exercises:

  • Tai chi is a graceful exercise in which you move from pose to pose. It’s been shown to improve balance and flexibility.
  • Yoga often involves a series of physical postures and a focus on breathing. Yoga is commonly practiced to relieve stress, as well as to treat heart disease and depression.

In addition to teaching you about specific practices, Dr. Bauer reveals the key to getting the most out of any form of integrative medicine: a solid foundation of wellness that includes simple lifestyle changes that can lead to significant improvements in your health. For example, you’ll hear about the concept of NESS, which is based on research that demonstrates how a program involving diet, exercise, stress management, and social support can reverse the aging process on a cellular level in a test group.

The Good, The Bad, and the FDA Unapproved

Dr. Bauer provides an in-depth investigation into a number of popular myths about integrative medicine without resorting to oversimplifying or generalizing. He kicks off this exploration with a review of the positive and negative effects of herbal remedies.

A lot of the skepticism about herbal remedies comes from the fact that they are not FDA-approved. On a supplement’s packaging, you may see this: “This statement has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Dr. Bauer sheds light on what this really implies and why it may not always be cause for concern. At the same time, he cautions us against some common herbs, which, at their worst, have been known to cause death. Receiving medical guidance about herbal remedies is vital. Even commonly used herbs, such as chamomile, can cause serious harm to someone with a severe allergy.

The conclusion Dr. Bauer reaches is that when working with a doctor, most herbal supplements can be used effectively. Dr. Bauer helps you do your homework to become a well-informed and wise patient and consumer when it comes to herbal supplements, so that you can make the best decisions for your optimal health.

A Trusted Source of Information

This course is an up-to-date and authoritative exploration of integrative medicine. Dr. Bauer is a Professor of Medicine, and he has been the director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic for 15 years. His main research interest has been the scientific evaluation of complementary therapies, where his work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine, combining the best of conventional Western medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies. Dr. Bauer and Mayo Clinic—an indisputably trusted resource for medical facts—provide evidence for the effectiveness, benefits, and drawbacks of integrative therapies in a straightforward, well-organized, and thorough manner, making the benefits of each practice easy to understand and accessible to everyone.

The Science of Integrative Medicine will help you take a proactive approach to your health and wellness. As you delve deeply into integrative practices and learn the science behind how and why they work, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for why Western doctors are now evaluating and incorporating such practices into an array of tools at their disposal to help you reach and maintain wellness. At the conclusion of the course, you’ll find yourself to be a more informed decision-maker. And you’ll see that by working with your doctor to discuss the scientifically backed practices you feel comfortable with, it is possible to put together an integrative program that can positively affect your health.

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12 lectures
 |  Average 29 minutes each
  • 1
    Complementary and Integrative Medicine
    Explore the history of alternative approaches to care that have evolved into integrative therapies still in use today. The discussion begins with research investigating how nutrition, exercise, stress management, and social support (NESS) positively affected men diagnosed with prostate cancer. You'll understand why some doctors may still have questions about integrative practices, while others firmly believe they are worthwhile. x
  • 2
    Making the Case for Integrative Medicine
    Review the science behind the benefits of healthy habits, including eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Discover the multitude of positive impacts these habits can have on your mind, body, and overall wellness. Get tips to easily integrate simple changes into your daily routines. x
  • 3
    Herbal Supplements
    Delve into the world of herbal supplements to understand the pros and cons of adding them to your health-care regimen. Get a handle on why no herbal supplement is necessarily good" or "bad," and learn why it is so important to use supplements responsibly, with your doctor's input and guidance." x
  • 4
    Supplements in Practice
    Take a deeper dive into some of the most common supplements, and find out which ones Dr. Bauer recommends and uses in his own practice. Understand why he'll sometimes suggest treatments even when they haven't been definitively proven to be widely effective, or have produced mixed results. x
  • 5
    Mind-Body Medicine
    Examine the phenomenon of the mind-body connection to see how you can positively influence your mind in order to improve your body. This area of research is opening the door to new ways of thinking about and approaching various healing techniques. Dr. Bauer shares the latest findings and examples. x
  • 6
    Guided Imagery, Hypnosis, and Spirituality
    Focusing your mind has been known to help alleviate pain, symptoms of illness, and side effects of medications, and even to aid in changing negative behaviors. Dr. Bauer takes you through three practices-guided imagery, hypnotherapy, and spirituality-to demonstrate how these methods can be used in conjunction with Western medicine. x
  • 7
    Practicing Meditation
    Taking the mindful approach a step further, Dr. Bauer provides you with an insightful examination of meditation. In addition to reviewing the multitude of benefits that meditation can provide as both a coping strategy and a preventive measure, Dr. Bauer walks you through a number of steps you can take to help establish a successful meditation session so you can make the most of this practice. x
  • 8
    Moving Meditation: Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong
    Often grouped together with other mindful practices, Dr. Bauer dedicates an entire lecture to moving meditation, including yoga, tai chi, and qi gong. Although these methods have existed for thousands of years, the scientific benefits of integrating these practices into modern Western healing have just recently begun to emerge. Dr. Bauer reviews this research and provides examples of how these techniques could help you. x
  • 9
    Relaxation Therapies
    Superficially, relaxation therapies seem easy, but Dr. Bauer points out that to really get the maximum health benefits, you have to fully immerse yourself in these practices, and doing so can be challenging at first. He guides you through the process, noting the many mental and physical advantages that come with true relaxation. Once you've mastered it, relaxation will become second nature. x
  • 10
    Effective Acupuncture
    Does acupuncture work? is a question that's often met with controversy. Dr. Bauer discusses scientific evidence that demonstrates both the effectiveness of this technique and the medical conditions it has been known to help alleviate. He also provides valuable tips to help you prepare yourself and make the most out of each acupuncture session. x
  • 11
    Massage Therapy and Spinal Manipulation
    Many people appreciate a good massage, yet few really grasp the science behind how effectively it can help with healing. Based on ancient principals such as acupressure, Dr. Bauer illustrates how this practice is more than just a back rub and, when done properly, can have long-lasting effects that go beyond the session. x
  • 12
    Living Well
    Throughout the course, Dr. Bauer offers suggestions on how to approach the topic of integrative medicine with your doctor. He also touches on new integrative strategies that are being researched. By the end of this lecture, you'll be equipped with a variety of options for how to create a comprehensive wellness program that can positively affect your mental and physical health for years to come. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 12 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Instant Audio Includes:
  • Download 12 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • 144-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 144-page printed course guidebook
  • Suggested Reading
  • Photographs and illustrations
  • Bibliography

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Your professor

Brent A. Bauer

About Your Professor

Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program
Brent A. Bauer, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, a Professor of Medicine, and the director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, where he has been on staff for 24 years. His main research interest has been the scientific evaluation of integrative medicine therapies, which patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. Dr. Bauer’s work is at the forefront of the...
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The Science of Integrative Medicine is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 30.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comprehensive review Bought audio cd since I knew I could listen in the car during long drives. Very well narrated and opens your mind to alternative medicine
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! The course is quite educational and I am glad that I have it.9
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Strongly not recommend this course! This is an attempt to prop up a conventional medicine, which is a third leading cause of death in north America and take "alternative medicine" as a necessary evil because everybody is talking about it now. This person correct title is an allopathic doctor and not "M.D.", since naturopathic, allopathic, chiropractic, etc. are all medical practitioners. or doctors of medicine. His approach to so called alternative medicine is completely dishonest. Record on curing (not just treating) of chronic illnesses by the conventional medicine has been catastrophic, resulting in more people ill today then ever before. Aspirin and Tylenol are the leading cause of kidney and liver failure and disease and this allopathic doctor suggests to use these drugs first and just use massage or herbs to make one feel better, which is complete nonsense. Doctor John Bergman (chiropractic doctor, look him up on YouTube) would suggest that doctor like that is either ignorant or just evil and I agree. What everybody should do is hire a naturopathic doctor as a primary one and keep allopathic doctor as a secondary one (the conventional medicine has a good record on acute illnesses). Naturopathic doctor cured my acne (I was almost 10 years on Accutane) and got me off of beta blockers for high blood pressure by changing my diet, herbal medicine and exercise - no need for pharmaceutical drugs! I was skeptical about this course when I saw "M.D." talking about "integrative medicine" and my suspicion has been confirmed.
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent value I'm a Holistic student, needed to up date knowledge and was very pleased to hear that major Hospital are researching and using these non-envasive techniques
Date published: 2016-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Science of Integrative Medicine This presentation was well done with good information. The reason I only gave it four stars was only because it was very basic. For anyone just starting their study of integrative medicine, it was great! I have read and studied the topic quite a bit over the years, so there was no new information for me. I would highly recommend it to someone with little knowledge of the subject.
Date published: 2016-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Common Sense Approach to Medicine Brent Bauer presents a survey of alternative medicine. His approach is based on a logical application of various methods which is grounded in medical research. I often consult the Mayo Clinic's website to see what they think of various types of herbal medicine, and Bauer takes the same sensible approach that one can see on the Mayo Clinic's website. Many doctors closely follow guidelines, which are often developed partly in response to political pressures, and it is refreshing to see a doctor who thinks through the issues before arriving at a recommendation.
Date published: 2016-08-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unable to watch DVD For some reason, the DVD doesn't play on my laptop so I am unable to accurately rate the product. Very disappointed as I was looking forward to watching it. I would be happy to adjust my review accordingly should I actually be able to watch the DVD.
Date published: 2016-07-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from To learn from this, you've been asleep for decades From hypnosis to massage to meditation: these are all subjects i was familiar with in an already greater depth than was discussed here.
Date published: 2016-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I suspect people who purchase "Great Courses" are above average intelligence and have a great curiosity about many different topics. Since I already read a lot about health, nutrition, and medicine, I didn't learn much that was earth-shatteringly new to me. But what I did was learn that there are doctors out there who understand the importance of integrative medicine, and don't consider it hogwash. It was great to learn the Mayo Clinic's perspective on this topic. It brought a lot of different things that I had read together, and I truly enjoyed it.
Date published: 2016-07-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Information A lot of in depth information on a few examples of treatments, herbs, etc. Gives information on how to research and vet different alternative and natural practices, but not information on each practice. Enjoyed learning about the information discussed.
Date published: 2016-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A "Cardinal" of the "Vatican of Western Medicine" I am a graduate of Harvard Medical School class of 1979. I never dreamed that a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic would speak so eloquently and comprehensively about natural practices that complement conventional Western Medicine. Essentially all twelve lectures expound on the theme of NESS. That is Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Reduction and Support. My chief criticism is that Dr. Bauer makes a strong case that these four principles may be necessary components for healing but it is never clear what Dr. Bauer believes are sufficient criteria for healing. I imagine that in Rochester, Minnesota most of his clients come for consultation because they are diagnostic challenges or for surgery and/or radiation therapy for which Mayo specializes. To be fair, Dr. Bauer does review programs at Mayo for patient families and for staff and employees. Those clients may have problems closer to what might be seen in most other communities. I listened to eleven of the twelve lectures while driving in the car. I watched the lecture on acupuncture on the GreatCoursePlus streaming app because acupuncture is a special interest of mine in that I use acupuncture heavily in my own medical practice. Overall I congratulate Dr. Bauer on his polished presentation.
Date published: 2016-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting I have not completed this entire course, but am 75% done. I am captivated by the material. The author is great at telling the story and explaining the medical terminology. I am not a doctor nor do I work in this environment, but have always liked to know more about the medical profession. I find this course very good at describing the various ailments people may have as they come into an ED unit. It makes me appreciate how hard the job is as an MD in the emergency room. I love the presenters voice and tone. He makes the story so real and is a good teacher.
Date published: 2016-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clear, Concise, Convincing! Nothing like science-based, proven strategies that improve wellness to get my happy dance going. Dr Bauer offers a friendly manner and well-paced course that is accessible, achievable, and believable. As a fitness professional, I have already seen and experienced the benefits of alternative medicine. Given the Mayo Clinic's chops and this course, I can now point to one polished, comprehensive source that can help people age actively. Well-organized, well-defined terms, well researched. Listen, learn, feel and heal!
Date published: 2016-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well-balanced presentation I have not completed listening to this course but so far am favorably impressed. The instructor is addressing a modern issue on integrating conventional medicine with alternative treatments and therapies. His is an MD but presents a balanced approach on the good and the bad with conventional versus alternative treatments. He is open-minded to alternative therapies if they help the patient and if they make sense. This is a course that all should listen to if they care about their health and want to work with their doctor to manage it. I like his open-minded approach to new ideas that were not taught when he went to medical school.
Date published: 2016-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting I found the content quite interesting - I use these MP-3 files while I'm exercising (usually about a 2 mile walk/jog - which fits well with the approximately 30 minute sessions). It definitely has made me more open to considering trying some of these alternative supplemental options in addition to the regular medical care that might be needed in the future. I do currently use some mild yoga and Tai Chi exercises most days.
Date published: 2016-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The science of Integrative Medicine I loved this and have re listened to it more than once for anything I may have forgot or missed. Told my daughter about it as she is a Wellness coach. And she also listened to my copy. and was impressed with the information that was gave. Very helpful. Fully recommend for anyone who is trying to be healthy and do the right things to get there
Date published: 2016-06-02
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