Integrative medicine is usually defined as the use of alternative medical therapies in conjunction with conventional Western medicine. It is a healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. Integrative Medicine emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. Any therapy that is typically excluded by conventional medicine, and that patients use instead of conventional medicine, is known as “alternative medicine.” Some of the practices included in alternative medicine are therapies ranging from acupuncture to homeopathy to meditation. Generally alternative therapies are closer to nature(or more natural), cheaper and less invasive than conventional therapies -although there are exceptions. An alternative medicine practice that is used in conjunction with a conventional one is known as a “complementary” medicine. An example of this would be using ginger to prevent nausea during chemotherapy.
The principles of integrative medicine include:
-A partnership between patient and practitioner in the healing process
-Appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
-Consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit and community as well as body
-A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
-Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
-Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
-Use of the broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease
-Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
What makes integrative medicine more and more appealing seems to be the deep dissatisfaction with a health care system that often leaves doctors feeling rushed and overwhelmed and patients feeling as if they’re nothing more than the disease they have or the damaged joints they have been living with. Integrative medicine tends to promise more time, more attention, and a broader approach to healing — one that is not based solely on the Western biomedical model, but also draws from other cultures.
At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine we integrate the best of alternative medicine with conventional medicine and treat the whole person and not just the symptoms of the illness. Dr. Kirti Kalidas is board certified in Internal Medicine as well as a licensed Naturopathic Physician. Recently we welcomed new practitioners, Michael Kehoe, PA-C, PhD and Autumn Frandsen, ND. Both Mike and Autumn practice Integrative Medicine at the Center. In January, we will be bringing on Dr. Thomas Moraczewski. Dr. Moraczewski practices Integrative Gynecology as well as Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. All of our practitioners spend the time needed with each patient to take a thorough health history and lifestyle background in order to ensure they are treating the whole person and not just treating the symptoms.