Integrative medicine is a process of healing that utilizes conventional Western medicine along with complementary treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine or yoga.
Proponents of integrative medicine prefer the term “complementary” when referring to treatments, as it emphasizes the use of conventional medicine along with alternative treatments, not as a replacement for mainstream medicine. Integrating conventional and complementary medicine, the integrative practitioner works from a standpoint of prevention, by assessing all contributing factors.
Each patient is treated as an individual, their needs assessed according to their unique situation. Patients are not treated as case files or per their disease, they are assessed and expected to work with the physician to facilitate healing. This could mean medication, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, or alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
The integrative medicine model places the patient at the center of their care, and can address a number of contributing factors, such as physical, emotional, and environmental factors. By treating the patient as a whole, this process increases the ability of patients to not only get well, but to stay well.
Like a conventional doctor, these practitioners may have an area of specialization. It is important when choosing your practitioner to find one that is a right fit for you and your healthcare needs. Some tools utilized by integrative health care providers might be aromatherapy, Ayurveda medicine, natural diet, exercise program, homeopathy, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, bodywork (such as massage), energy-based therapies, Chinese medicine – to name only a few.
When seeking out your care provider, be sure and ask vital questions about what therapies they utilize in treatment as well as their views on any alternative treatments you may be seeking. Remember that these methods are not to replace your conventional treatments; they are to be used in conjunction with them. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the world of health and wellness this holds quite true. Prevention, in medicine, is often less expensive and more favorable than treatment. In other words, living a healthy lifestyle today will more likely give you a healthy tomorrow!
Luna Beck, MD & Associates, PA is a local resource for anyone who is seeking a preventative, integrative approach to their healthcare. Located in Summerfield FL, Dr. Beck is board certified in internal medicine, and offers a wide range of treatments, focusing on healthy aging and preventative care. She is currently taking new patients.
Phone: +1 (352) 307-7940