About Stuttgart 2016

About Stuttgart 2016

An international community of diverse healthcare professionals—change agents in the transformation of health care—gathered at the 2016 International Congress for Integrative Health & Medicine in Stuttgart, Germany, June 9–11, 2016.

Health professionals, researchers, and policymakers from around the world promoted models of care to address chronic disease and high costs facing the world today. Over 600 participants from over 40 countries adopted presented a declaration calling for more rapid integration of Complementary & Traditional Medicine into healthcare services. Sign the Stuttgart Integrative Health & Medicine Declaration.

Stuttgart 2016 Integrative PerspectivesThe Integrative Health Care Perspective

Integrative Medicine focuses on the whole person.  Integrative Health includes equally all providers of integrative medicine – working in equal partnership for the better of the patient – nurses, medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, chiropractic doctors, acupuncture and Asian medicine doctors, and many more. The international movement is bringing together all those working around the globe in integrative health and medicine (IHM).

IHM is informed by evidence and affirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient.  All appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines are used to achieve optimal health and healing—an integration of conventional biomedicine and complementary therapies in health and medicine.

No matter where you are on the planet today, our medical systems face immense challenges: (1) health care costs are rising without a corresponding improvement in health and wellbeing; (2) chronic and lifestyle-related diseases are overwhelming health systems, necessitating a focus on prevention and well-being; (3) antimicrobial resistance related to non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in agriculture and unnecessary prescriptions for patients is on the rise; (4) the focus on disease treatment has diminished the focus on patients as whole persons in the context of social, economic and environmental determinants; and (5) practitioners burnout results in a diminished capacity to regard patients as whole people with complex needs.

Integrative health and medicine—steeped in the values of care for the individual patient, the communities in which they live, and the planet—offers a meaningful contribution to our shared health care crisis. Healthcare professions in Integrative Health and Medicine collaborate and focus on comprehensive approaches and solutions including: preventing disease, relieving suffering, considering the complex causes of disease, viewing patients in the broad context of body-mind-spirit-community-planet and activating healthy resources through lifestyle changes.

Growth of Integrative Health & Medicine

North America

  • More than 40% of the US population uses complementary medicine and 20% of US hospitals offer complementary and alternative medicine therapies. In chronically ill populations, the use of these tools is much higher, commonly over 60%.
  • Over 50 prominent medical schools have centers for integrative medicine with significant growth in academically-focused research and clinical care.
  • Integrative health and medicine is practiced across health care professions, including medical, osteopathic, chiropractic and naturopathic physicians, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, acupuncturists, dentists, midwives and many others.


  • Up to 70% of the population uses complementary medicines. Complementary medicine is integrated in some national health insurance systems. An increasing number of universities have established centers for complementary medicine.
  • Integrative health and medicine has developed from a long tradition of complementary therapy systems (e.g. acupuncture, anthroposophic medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and naturopathy). Each system presents distinct profiles, institutions, and varying degrees of integration into conventional care systems.
  • Many hospitals are specialized in complementary medicine. In anthroposophic hospitals, complementary treatments are fully integrated alongside conventional biomedicine.


  • Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) represents one of the largest medical systems in the world on a per capita basis, encompassing traditions from China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere.
  • Asia has both interest and experience in the integration of TAM approaches with Western methods, including an emerging TAM code set developed in parallel to the ICD-11 code set.
  • India and the Middle East have built on a long tradition of Ayurveda and Unani in addition to conventional biomedicine.

Latin America

  • 400 million people are estimated to use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
  • Indigenous herbal medicine traditions have an important historical and cultural role
  • Many countries have integrated CAM into their national health care systems.


  • Traditional medicine is often practiced alongside conventional biomedicine.
  • Many herbal medicines used around the world originated in Africa (e.g. Pellargonium s.).
  • Various models of integrative health and medicine have been introduced and practiced in Africa for many years with potential for expansion.

Creating a shared vision

This Congress brought together a global community of practitioners including medical doctors, nurses, chiropractors, psychologists, acupuncturists, midwives, dentists, naturopaths, and osteopaths; as well as researchers, health care administrators, and policy makers who:

  • Share a philosophy of holistic, interprofessional, patient-centered care
  • Seek a new balance between health promotion, disease prevention and management
  • Integrate the dimensions of body, mind, and spirit into clinical practice
  • Work to transform institutions, healthcare systems and practitioner education
  • Contextualize individual, community and planetary health

Access the program here

World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy and WHO Leadership Priorities

The program was designed to demonstrate that integrative health will inform WHO Leadership Priorities and provide key solutions to pressing global health issues. Key concepts from the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy will be addressed by invited special guests from multilateral organizations of the United Nations (World Health Organization, Pan-American Health Organization). Learn more below.

World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014–2023
World Health Organization (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002–2005
World Health Organization (WHO) Social Determinants Report
WHO Leadership priorities