Integrative Medicine stresses the importance of ‘healing’ rather than ‘disease’. This healing-oriented medicine involves understanding the influences of the mind, spirit and community, in addition to the physical body. It focuses on treating the ‘whole person’. This involves understanding the patient’s lifestyle, beliefs, past experiences, and even culture, in order to facilitate the necessary changes in behavior that will bring balance and improved health. Integrative Medicine offers relationship-centered care. It requires knowing the patient as a person, instead of knowing the disease alone.
Many Doctors of Oriental Medicine (DOM’s) practice a type of Integrative Medicine in that they often order traditional ‘Western’ laboratory tests such as in-depth blood analysis, saliva, urine and stool tests, as well as imaging. These tests can be combined with the traditional diagnostic methods employed by DOM’s which include pulse diagnosis, hara diagnosis (abdominal palpation), tongue diagnosis, applied kinesiology (muscle testing), auricular diagnosis, iridology, sight, smell and sound so they can have a deeper understanding of the imbalances a patient is experiencing at a physiological and emotional / mental level. These imbalances are, or course, what leads to what we call ‘disease’.
Doctors of Oriental Medicine do not necessarily treat a ‘disease’, rather they treat the root causes of disease and the whole person by recommending lifestyle and diet changes, stress management practices, food therapy, Tui Na (medical massage), herbal medicine, injection therapy of herbs, vitamins and minerals, homeopathic remedies and other natural substances, as well as bio-feedback therapies for mental and emotional balance and healing. These combined therapies can also be used in conjunction with certain allopathic therapies. The goal of Integrative Medicine is to use the least invasive, least toxic and most effective treatments to bring a patient to full healing by creating the optimal environment for healing to happen. Ideally, the disease is healed and does not return once the treatments have ended. The patient should also take the opportunity to learn from the experience by making healthy changes to diet, lifestyle and stress responses a permanent part of their lives.
The human body and mind can often heal by themselves. We just need to create and support an environment that supports healing. Integrative Medicine can offer many tools to promote the in-depth healing of the whole person.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 407-328-6711