What is integrative medicine and holistic wellness?
Integrative medicine is a new concept in American healthcare. Our country’s health care system is traditionally based on mainstream medical therapies designed to treat acute episodic illnesses and emergencies. Care, provided by specialists, can be fragmented, expensive and invasive. In contrast to mainstream or conventional medicine are alternative therapies, including hundreds of old and new practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga and homeopathy that utilize more natural, less invasive methods to achieve wellness. Integrative Medicine combines these two health care options to provide patients with holistic & complementary (not specialized, fragmented or alternative) care.
Integrative Medicine also promotes health and wellness (preventive medicine) in contrast to the disease model of the current health care system. Combined therapies in the integrative model can speed recuperation from illness and surgery, help to better ameliorate chronic conditions, and reduce reliance on medications.
Holistic health care seeks to care for the whole person—mind, body, spirit—taking into consideration the many physical and non-physical factors that impact health, wellness and disease, including the psychosocial and spiritual.
What are some examples of complementary therapies in the integrative model?
The complementary therapies used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments are those that have proven to be effective, safe and appropriate for a patient’s given condition and health status. For a list of both traditional and complementary therapies provided in this clinic refer to “Our Services”. They include therapies like acupuncture and energy medicine. The National Institutes of Health states that acupuncture is proven to treat pain, nausea and vomiting, and appears promising in the treatment of asthma, menstrual cramps and osteoarthritis. Energy medicine includes practices like reiki and healing touch—therapies designed to tap into and manipulate the body’s own healing energy, and promote balance, peace and relaxation. They have shown to be beneficial to patients ranging in age from premature infants to chronic pain sufferers and cancer patients. Chiropractic, the second largest health care system in America, has proven to be effective with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions like lower back pain, and nerve obstruction problems like fibromyalgia.
How can I find out more about these complementary therapies?
Our Center offers a series of weekly, early evening, workshops in which the practitioners of these therapies will explain everything you need to know: what the treatments consist of, conditions and ailments for which they are most appropriate, the history and philosophy behind the treatment, and the training and education of practitioners. See our “Event Calendar” to learn about upcoming workshops on this and other health topics. You can also consult the website for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (nccam.nih.gov).
Our Philosophy of Care – We believe that…
- Holistic care is based on a belief that the origins of good health are multifaceted, requiring attention to (and balance among) the physical, emotional, social, environmental and spirituals aspects of the human experience
- For this reason, every person is unique, and his or her pathway to health and healing should also be unique.
- Disease and disability prevention, health promotion and healing require attention to all facets of our lives and not merely the management of symptoms.
- The patient and practitioner are equal partners and have an equal obligation to share information and insights into evaluating and choosing a path to optimal health. We expect patients to participate fully in their health care.
- Good communication and listening are essential to this partnership.
- Optimal health is best achieved by combining both traditional and complementary therapies that are safe and have proven effectiveness.
- Less is more. We believe in starting with conservative, natural, non-invasive approaches to health and healing before going to the next level.
- That patients need to believe they can get healthy—that the mind and one’s mindset can either help or hinder the healing process.
Who decides what therapies I might need?
Integrative Medicine is patient driven. You need not sign up for the “whole package” but can pick and choose, with guidance from the Center’s medical coordinator, the therapies that are most suitable for you. The advantage of our Center is that all these therapies are available to you under one roof, and practitioners participating in your care will communicate with one another about the best course of treatment for your condition.
In other words, integrative medicine & holistic health allows for personalized, customized care. You can incorporate whatever health care strategies are in keeping with your values, beliefs and philosophies with regard to achieving or maintaining your best health possible.
To find out how we can best help you, we invite you to call us today at 508-790-0606 or use the form below to schedule your complimentary consultation with us.