Naturally-Minded & Scientifically-Grounded Using the Best of
Eastern and Western Medicine
Integrative medicine combines the best of both conventional and complementary medicine, not one vs. the other. For patients with chronic disease(s), integrative medicine takes a proactive approach to their health because it tends to their sick and preventative care needs (think offense plus defense). How do we accomplish this? First, we evaluate every aspect of a person's health, from their symptoms, to nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, resilience, and social support. Then, we treat their illness(es) using a bigger toolbox of treatments that includes traditional (Western) and complementary (Eastern) therapies, all based in evidence.
This model does not allow the patient to be a passive recipient of their medical care. It promotes active participation from the patient and their family, helping them understand that being “healthy” in the setting of a chronic illness is not a one-step process, but a life-long journey that requires responsibility.
Who Can Practice Integrative Medicine?
Unfortunately, not all practices that claim to be "integrative" or "holistic" have practitioners who are specifically trained in integrative medicine. Some are actually trained in functional medicine (which is different than integrative medicine), or chiropractors, or naturopaths. Integrative physicians are knowledgable about both Eastern and Western medicine with the primary goal to blend both modalities, not replace conventional care with complementary ones like supplements or a specific diet.
Integrative Medicine is an extra fellowship in addition to residency and sub-specialty training that teaches evidence-based uses for complementary therapies. For example, if your provider recommends supplements, they should also educate you on the indication for taking the supplement, the evidence for its use, the risks and benefits of the supplement, potential drug interactions, and how to ensure you are buying quality products.
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