Complementary and Integrative Health
As part of the Whole Health approach, VA is developing policies and guidance to implement complementary and integrative health (CIH) services.
VA established the Integrative Health Coordinating Center (IHCC) to:
- Identify and address barriers to providing CIH across VA.
- Serve as a resource for clinical practices and education for Veterans, clinicians, leadership, and staff.
VA is developing policy and guidance required to implement Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) services that meet the definition of basic care as described in the standard Medical Benefits Package and are in accord with generally accepted standards of medical practice. VA Directive 1137 - Provision of Complementary and Integrative Health was approved by the Acting Under Secretary for Health (USH) on May 19, 2017. The CIH Directive establishes national VHA policy regarding the provision of CIH approaches.
Each VHA facility has latitude in how the services are provided. In some cases, VA facilities may provide these internally, through use of volunteers, via telehealth, or in the community through community partners or the Community Care Network. The CIH approaches approved by VA’s USH to be included in the Veterans medical benefits package if deemed appropriate by their care team include:
- Clinical hypnosis
- Guided imagery
- Massage therapy
- Tai chi / qi gong
- Chiropractic care
IHCC has reviewed these approaches and found evidence of benefits to Veteran care.