|Often I write about themes that come up in the course of working with you. This topic has come up several times lately, so let’s discuss the question-Why Integrative medicine?
Modern Western Medicine is very effective in saving lives in emergencies through surgery and high tech diagnostic and treatment options. We all can benefit from what traditional Western Medicine has to offer, especially if we are injured or become critically ill. However, Western Medicine is less effective in treating chronic disease or even preventing chronic disease. To treat and prevent chronic disease there are other cutting edge modalities that provide more effective care.
Integrative Medicine is a specialty that specifically focuses on both prevention and reversal of disease. I.M. Practitioners offer their patients a range of choices for healing including, supplements, herbs, acupuncture, and Reiki, to name just a few. This approach is designed to improve your health while using fewer drugs and side-stepping surgery when possible. It also reduces the risk of side effects from more invasive protocols.
The training I’ve received to become certified as an Integrative Medical practitioner dials even deeper into resolving health problems. I work on creating a PLAN for optimizing health for each client by addressing the signs and symptoms of their imbalance and outline in detail the testing needed to pinpoint the cause of the imbalance. This is what is known as “evidence” based health care.
Your individual plan may include recommendations for dietary changes, exercise, an overhaul of your sleep routine, as well as stress management and supplements. And, of course, my practice specializes in Bio-Identical hormone therapy. Some of my clients view their consult as an opportunity to upgrade their daily routines. For others, the choices I.M. offers to optimize and maintain good health, are completely new and may even sound revolutionary!
Supplementation is one area I want to clarify. Walk into any Costco, Target or even Trader Joe’s and there is at least one aisle with rows of supplements and so called “health” products. It can be confusing. Your consult is a good time to address any concerns on why you should consider supplements, what to take for your unique physiology, and the research on the need to ensure you and your family are only taking pharmaceutical grade, and third party tested products.
We assess your body’s weak points, or systems, and bring in specific supplements to repair and rebuild. Of course, vitamins and minerals are in the foods we eat, but multiple studies have shown our modern food system, even our soil, has been depleted of the high level nutrients which supported our grandparent’s generation.
Vitamins, minerals and herbs are like food for the body. Your body is “wired” to recognize and utilize quality supplements in a normal and helpful manner. This is also true for bio-identical hormones. BHRT “matches,” what our bodies create in a natural way as we age. By bringing declining hormone levels back into an optimal range, we help the function of the entire body, with few side effects. Extensive research confirms your body knows how to work with bio-identical hormones for many benefits throughout your entire life span!
|That is why I will often recommend supplements and BHRT to a patient instead of using medications that are often “pro forma” for Western Medical practitioners. These are based on your lab results and your physiological state, with a strong emphasis on disease prevention.
Last month I met with a man who 2 to-3 years ago had elevated blood sugars, as reflected in his HgA1c test result. HgA1c is an inflammatory marker indicting risk of diabetes. His past level was 6.4. In Western Medicine this is considered the level of someone with diabetes. In our consult, we designed an alternative treatment that focused on dietary changes, herbs for glucose control, optimizing hormonal systems, and stress management.
In a follow-up visit, months into these protocols, his levels had dropped to a point considered average to low risk with an HgA1c of 5.6. Of course, we will continue to work to decrease even this level, but he has done the work and is richly rewarded with improved daily health and the assurance that his renewed health is being protected. This is the reward for both the client and myself, as well as the client’s families…… it is why I do what I do!
It would be nice if there really was a “magic pill,” to reverse disease, end inflammation and restore good health. I know my mid-life clients are busy, and it appears self-care is another job, or responsibility. We do have to put in time, energy and work to restore and maintain our health and quality of life. But the rewards are endless, including the joy of renewed energy, the pleasure of Increased libido, the satisfaction of weight loss and the relief from the reduction of all inflammatory markers. This is the fuel that keeps you going!
My approach, my dedication, is to you as a “whole person.” I focus on your “whole body,” not just one sign or one symptom. And it keeps building. We re-assess, we course correct and we most certainly can improve our health at any age. It’s my passion, and it’s the focus of Integrative Medicine. Life is not to be endured, it’s to be enjoyed!
Here to foster your best health and well-being,