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Holistic and natural remedies are increasingly being sought after by consumers of health care today. The idea of mending the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—instead of just the physical body is gaining popularity.

The services offered by the center for integrative medicine are meant to supplement more traditional medical treatments, not replace them. Our staff works with each patient to identify which services are most suited, from traditional treatments like naturopathic methods and acupuncture to mind-body therapies like relaxation techniques and biofeedback.

Patients are advised to get a recommendation from their primary care physician in order to receive treatment at the center. By creating a channel of contact between professionals at the center and referring doctors, the referral process encourages a team-based approach to care. Patients may engage in an initial assessment process or ask for a specific therapy or program.

Many people want additional natural and alternative remedies as part of their treatment programs, especially in certain medical fields like cancer. Having said that, it is crucial to remember that substituting complementary therapies on their own for recommended clinical treatments could have a negative impact on a person’s health.

Instead, patients should speak with a doctor about their existing therapies so that they can get advice on the right course of action.

Continue reading to discover more about centers for integrative medicine and healing, including the conditions it may help with, the treatments offered, the benefits and risks, and the medical professionals running them.

A whole-person therapeutic strategy that addresses the body, mind, and spirit is provided at the Center for Integrative Medicine. It integrates the use of alternative therapies in addition to conventional therapy.

A practitioner of complementary treatment will typically recommend a mix of therapies to enhance a patient’s health. For instance, they might advise someone to do yoga to relieve stress while also urging them to contact an acupuncturist.

Complementary therapies are frequently categorized by practitioners into three main categories: psychological, nutritional, and physical.

Nutritional Strategies

Vitamins, herbs, probiotics, and mineral supplements are examples of nutritional supplementary therapies. There are many different types of supplements, including liquids, capsules, and powders. A particular diet plan might also be given to a person.

Patients must always consult their doctor before consuming any supplements in conjunction with their prescribed medication. This may result in certain interactions. For instance, the blood-thinning drug warfarin’s effectiveness may be decreased by vitamin K.

Psychological strategies

Complementary therapies with a psychological component work to calm the mind and lessen stress. These treatments consist of:

  • Meditation
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy

The disciplines of the mind and body frequently intersect. Tai Chi and Yoga are two examples of physical exercises that help support psychological well-being.

Physical Strategies

A form of muscular manipulation, like massage, may be incorporated into physical complementary health approaches. A chiropractor is an option for treatment, as they may twist the spine to cure various health issues or lessen discomfort.

As an alternative, acupuncture is a form of physical therapy in which a practitioner stimulates particular pressure points on the body by inserting tiny needles under the skin.

Yoga and tai chi are two examples of physical therapy that a person might practice as part of a class or on their own.

Centers for integrative medicine and healing are founded on a model that emphasizes health and wellbeing rather than disease and lays a strong emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship. Integrative medicine goes beyond simply treating the symptoms by tailoring therapy to each patient.

You and your healthcare provider discuss both prevention and the reasons for a disease, such as biological, environmental, psychological, and behavioral variables. The integrative medicine approach considers both your current medical requirements and other aspects that affect your long-term health and wellbeing.

Integrative medicine practitioners at the center for integrative health combine the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments with traditional medical procedures. CAM treatments and therapies are only applied when they have been shown to be efficient, secure, and suitable for a particular patient’s health status.

Evidence-based CAM treatments that are frequently combined with traditional medical care include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Guided imagery
  • Functional medicine
  • Mindfulness
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Naturopathic treatments
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga

To fully understand how physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and environmental variables may be influencing your health concerns, you will explore the fundamental causes of your condition during your first visit with an integrative medicine doctor at the center for integrative health. Your health history will also be reviewed.

To create a unique wellness plan based on your current medical requirements, you will collaborate closely with the integrative medicine doctor. In order to achieve and maintain your long-term health goals, you will also be urged to cultivate healthy habits and self-care abilities.

Integrative medicine does not take the place of regular primary medical care. Instead, it supports current therapies that your primary care physician and other specialists have recommended. An integrative medicine specialist will provide a report on your consultation and a list of suggested treatments to your primary care physician after your appointment.

Based on their professional qualifications and the licensing laws, an integrative clinician may occasionally serve as the primary provider.

Your individualized wellness plan should include only natural treatments and alternative treatments that won’t conflict with any prescription conventional drugs. Instead, they are intended to support any other treatments you are undergoing by maximizing your body’s capacity for healing.

Integrative medicine doctors encourage patients to take charge of their health and wellbeing, both when collaborating with their healthcare providers and on their own.

Consult your insurance company to find out which charges for medical care provided at the center for wellness and integrative medicine will be reimbursed if you’re interested in receiving it. While some insurance providers do not reimburse the complementary/alternative therapies used in integrative medicine, others do, including acupuncture and some mind-body therapies.

Numerous diseases and conditions are treated with integrative medicine therapies, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Migraine/headache
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cardiovascular conditions
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

As more people become interested in personalized, holistic approaches to healing, integrative medicine is becoming more and more common in healthcare settings across the United States. Numerous hospitals have been testing integrative medicine initiatives and investigating how it improves patient care.

Reviews and experimental studies have demonstrated beneficial outcomes for patients and healthcare professionals who take part in integrative medicine regimens.

Integrative medicine is being investigated by researchers for its potential applications in managing pain, treating cancer symptoms in patients and survivors, and promoting healthy lifestyles to maintain long-term health.

Medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, naturopaths, mind-body specialists, massage therapists, mental health professionals, and practitioners of complementary therapies like acupuncture and reiki are just a few of the professionals who practice integrative medicine.

These professions have a wide range of educational and licensing requirements, and these specialties also have a wide range of regulations.

If you’re looking for an integrated medicine specialist, look for someone who is open about their beliefs and experiences and has complete accreditation in their field. Do they, for instance, accept the theory of integrative medicine’s relationship between the body, mind, and spirit?

Competent and skilled integrative medicine doctors view their patients as partners as well as are open to collaborating with other medical specialists who are in charge of their treatment.

The information sharing among medical specialists who are catering to the needs of each patient is one of the things that makes integrative medicine so distinctive. According to research, interdisciplinary cooperation among doctors can enhance patient outcomes.

Certification and Training

Physicians can obtain integrative medicine certification in addition to education and complete accreditation in their field of practice. Through the American Board of Integrative Medicine, the American Board of Physician Specialties provides certification in integrative medicine.

The acquisition of the board certification validates the practitioner’s demonstrated expertise and understanding of integrative medicine methods. Additionally, it indicates the doctor’s adherence to the Medical Code of Ethics.

At the present, specialization in integrative medicine is entirely voluntary. The acknowledgment of having achieved the necessary criteria of achievement and demonstrating practitioners’ expertise in the field is provided by certification.

The purpose of adding complementary therapies to a patient’s treatment regimen is typically to lessen some of the negative effects of conventional medicine.

For instance, acupuncture appears especially beneficial in reducing fatigue among women with breast cancer who get anticancer treatment, according to the authors of a 2018 meta-analysis.

To completely understand the efficacy of alternative treatments in an oncology setting, more rigorous study designs are required, according to a 2019 systematic review of studies that examined the association between complementary treatments and cancer.

Fertility is a different area that could gain from complementary medicine. According to a 2018 research, women who combine Hatha yoga with other mind-body practices may experience reduced stress and anxiety during in vitro fertilization procedures. Their psychosocial well-being might also get better.

Benefits of Integrative Medicine

There may be some added advantages to introducing Integrative medicine. For instance, a 2018 evaluation found that, overall, Integrative medicine aids people in managing challenging conditions and lessens their distress.

In rare cases, Integrative medicine may even lead to better health outcomes. For instance, a 2018 South Korean study indicated that recipients of IM after suffering a stroke had higher survival rates at 3 months and 1 year than those who only received conventional treatment.

Integrative care was more costly, but it avoided subsequent hospitalizations, which can ultimately save hospitals money.

Risks of Integrative Medicine

When incorporating certain complementary therapies into a treatment plan, patients should be conscious of the risks involved.

Makers of supplements do not require FDA approval to place their products in the marketplace, unlike makers of conventional pharmaceuticals, who must obtain approval from the FDA before selling their products.

Additionally, several vitamins and some medicines can have interactions. If a person is concurrently taking another medicine, this can raise the chance of problems.

It’s crucial that people understand that herbal medicines and supplements are not a cure-all or a substitute for prescription drugs. A manufacturer’s supplement is probably unsafe if they advertise it as a “cure.”

When looking into the potential health advantages of some complementary therapies, consumers should also consider the study design. Since complementary health studies frequently lack reliable research methodology that other researchers might reproduce, the results and conclusions could be false.

To better explore the health advantages of complementary therapies and how healthcare practitioners might employ them in conjunction with conventional therapy, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is financing more research.

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