What Is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative Holistic Medicine is a new medical subspecialty that employs both conventional medicine along with all other evidence-based, natural, and minimally invasive healing modalities. It is a healing-oriented practice of medicine that approaches a person as a whole, including all aspects of their lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies, not just pharmaceutical options. The integrative holistic approach takes into account the ENTIRE life of the person, with deep consideration and focus on the patient’s mind, body, and soul/spirit.
The World Of Integrative Medicine
Our Favorite Integrative Modalities
Internal Medicine is the most common type of medical practice in the US and most practitioners are trained in an allopathic (MD) approach to diagnosing and treating adults. Internists diagnose often confusing symptoms across a very wide spectrum of diseases and are specially-trained in the use of pharmaceutical options for treatment. Though osteopathic internists (DO) receive additional training in integrative modalities of care, many of them do not use it in their practice.
Functional medicine focuses on addressing the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach which engages both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. Functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just the symptoms that a patient is having and practitioners spend time with their patients, carefully listening for the complex clues relating genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors to the patient's presentation. These factors commonly influence your long-term health and development of chronic disease.
Ayurveda is a system of healing that originated in East Asia almost 5 thousand years ago easily making it the oldest practice of medicine on Earth. Ayurveda means the "knowledge of living" and employs diet, detoxification, herbal and mineral remedies, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and massage therapy in an effort to restore balance and prevent and cure illness. Ayurvedic treatments are non-invasive and can be used safely as holistic therapies simultaneously with most pharmaceutical therapies. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that all disease starts in the gut and therefore can be healed by the gut.
If you already eat well and are generally “healthy”, you may wonder if there is something else you can or should be doing for your health. While conventional medicine defines "health" as a lack of disease, integrative practitioners believe that true health begins by promoting wellness and recommending lifestyle choices that enhance the ability of your body and mind to function optimally. The goal for patients under conventional practice is to be "disease-free". The goal for patients on an integrative plan of care is to thrive.
Eating well is about much more than just the food you put into your body. It is a lifestyle choice. It is a conscious effort to buy foods that nourish the body as well as the mind. When you eat a healthy diet, it will boost your body’s natural healing potential. The practice of integrative nutrition recognizes that the foundation for optimal health and healing begins with the diet.
Integrative Weight Management
Surgical and pharmaceutical options for weight loss only work as long as you keep having more surgeries and continue to take more pills.
Integrative weight management is actually not about lowering your weight at all- it's about developing a healthy, happy life- when this is true, your weight will be reduced automatically. Integrative physicians place emphasis on consuming foods that you love to eat by incorporating a whole foods, anti-inflammatory diet. Integrative weight management takes a holistic perspective on your health, focusing on behaviours such as sleep hygiene and physical activity along with mental and environmental stressors that may be affecting your weight. This approach will decrease your risk of progression of chronic disease and you will soon find yourself able to once again do the things you love.
A good night's sleep is important for your body to reset. While you are sleeping, your brain is hard at work fixing and repairing vital structures and functions throughout your whole body and this process is easily disrupted when you don't get a proper night's sleep. Poor sleep also interferes with your ability to learn and make decisions as well as your overall behavior and emotions. The evidence also shows that obesity, blood pressure, immune health, and growth and development all depend on good sleep. Integrative practitioners will diagnose and treat your poor sleep holistically and help you develop a plan that will finally get you the rest you need to be the best you when you're awake.