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The University of Arizona has launched the first national online pediatric integrative medicine curriculum, a program that combines conventional medicine with a variety of alternative treatments.

The curriculum was designed by the UA's Center for Integrative Medicine and will allow pediatric residents to learn alternative approaches to go with their conventional medical training, said Hilary McClafferty the pediatric program director.

"It really focuses on preventative health and offering expanded treatment options to kids who may be dealing with very complex illnesses … obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, a lot of the gastro-intestinal illnesses," McClafferty said.

The integrative medicine curriculum is based on evidence of actual results, and the field is largely driven by consumer demand, she said.

"And when my own children get sick, I want to bring every element of care that I can, so if they need conventional care, if they need an antibiotic, absolutely bring that in and then also support the healing with other elements," McClafferty said.

Among techniques being applied are links between the body and the mind, including progressive muscle relaxation and clinical hypnosis.

Nearly 350 pediatric residents and faculty at universities around the country are regularly logging in to the program, she said.