As the research chair of the Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine and the associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, Rickhi says if mental illnesses continue to be ignored, this could result in serious social and economic costs.
Between 1987 and 1993, while working as the deputy director of the psychiatry department at the Calgary General Hospital, Rickhi was recognised by the World Heath Organisation (WHO) for excellence in epidemiology, forensic and mood disorders. This afforded him the opportunity to work with the WHO on research projects on mental health medicine, particularly in developing countries.
“At that time,” he said, “Dr Julio Arboleda Florez, a very forward WHO thinker, asked my opinion about where I thought medicine was going to be heading in the future. I felt it was in the area of complementary medicine and he and other members of WHO encouraged me to explore these areas further.”
He later began studies in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine as well as electronic homeopathy. In 2004 and 2005, as a member of the Bravewell Fellowship Advisory Committee, Rickhi worked on the development of a blueprint for the implementation of integrative health care clinics in conventional medical settings.
Asked to explain integrative health care, Rickhi described it as “the union of different paradigms of conventional and other medical therapies.”
He said non-conventional therapy looked at physical and spiritual aspects of a person as a well as mind function. It also deals with the concept that the body has the potential to heal itself if it is given the opportunity to do so.
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