Integrative Medicine is a whole-person, patient-centered medical practice, using therapies that are both evidence and experience-based, from a variety of medical disciplines including conventional Western medicine. These practices are combined to provide the highest level of safe and effective healthcare for our patients.
Integrative medicine represents a fundamental shift in the medical community’s understanding of the interplay between the environment and our health. This shift leads the doctor and patient to change their focus to wellness and optimal health over the treatment of symptoms.
On a larger scale, integrative medicine has been adopted at the highest levels of medical education. For example, the Cleveland Clinic has formed an integrative medicine center for healthcare delivery, and Harvard has brought in a network of integrative physicians to teach medical students the integrative medicine principles early in their careers.
Integrative medicine is destined to be the prime delivery of medicine through the 21st century.
Why is there a need for integrative medicine?
Statistics show that 40% of adults and 12% of children use some form of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM). The most commonly quoted reasons for seeking such an approach include dissatisfaction with the conventional system, supplementation of a current regimen, and the belief that complimentary medicine is safer.
It is our belief that the conventional medicine has many positives, but is lacking in diversity. Given that nearly half of the adult population uses some form of CAM, it is imperative that we as physicians listen to the health care needs of our society and embrace and understand CAM therapies.
Integrative medicine is in essence the merging of conventional medicine with CAM therapies to provide safe and effective options for those who seek these options.
Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
Source: The Journal of Reproductive Medicine
How does integrative medicine differ from conventional medicine?
There are many ways that our approach is different from a conventional one.
For starters, we have a heavy focus on health prevention and optimization. Our initial assessment of a patient takes well over an hour and is designed to understand all of the factors in the person’s life that have led to the symptoms that they are presenting with.
We then use a combination of conventional lab testing through MSP to further understand your body. This testing modality fits well with the conventional model. It is very important to check all patients for the presence of disease and/or its risk factors.
Current concepts in integrative medicine
There are a few key concepts that are commonly discussed in the world of integrative medicine, and they deserve some explanation.
In the integrative world, the cornerstones of health are:
- Healthy nutrition
- Exercise and functional movement
- Restorative sleep
- Controlling stress levels
- Managing relationships