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Comments on Integrative Healthcare

“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.” ― Emily Dickinson

BE OPEN TO EVERY GOOD OPPORTUNITY

obstaclesThis blog is finding opportunity in all aspects of healthcare. I want you to try all that is available for your health improvement. You see, I practice using an Integrative approach and proponents of this philosophy believe in trying what actually works no matter how it is defined. Let me explain.

First let’s define some terms.

Complementary is something that complements, assists, helps, or adds. Therefore complementary healthcare is something that can add to conventional medicine or in some instances can be used as an alternative treatment in place of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine, defined as the medical community’s knowledge, skills, practices used in the maintenance of physical and mental health. In the United States this would include pharmacotherapy, diagnostic testing and interventional medicine.

Everyone is talking about complementary healthcare more because conventional healthcare has been failing. Modern medicine is having a lot of problems, less time is spent with patients and conventional medicine is seen as worshiping on the altar of technology and almighty dollar.

Now let me define Integrative healthcare. This approach uses the combination of the best validated conventional and complementary methods. It includes a partnership between patient and practitioner in healing and staying healthy. This philosophy considers all factors that influence wellness, including mind, body, spirit and community. This philosophy maintains that we should use natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible.

This is the most exciting time in healthcare because we have so many great opportunities available which we can take advantage…conventional medicine, complementary medicine, mind-body techniques etc.

I like lists, so I’m going to do a very basic breakdown of what I consider complementary healthcare opportunities you should consider.

  • Group 1 –Hands-on therapy – Chiropractic, Osteopathic, Acupuncture and Massage therapy ….any type of therapy that involves touch is very healing.
  • Group 2- Nutritional therapies – Herbal remedies, supplements and diet changes are less toxic ways to alleviate pain/illness. Great therapy, as long as your healthcare providers knows you’re using these remedies and understands to avoid drug t – herbal/supplement interactions. I think herbal remedies and supplements are great for fatigue, pain, insomnia, anxiety, spasms and inflammation.
  • Group 3 –Somatic focus -What do I mean by somatic focus? Focusing on the body in a way that leads to meditative and physical benefits – Yoga and Tai Chi are prime examples of this type of experience. They are meditative, helping distract from pain and providing relaxation. Plus, they can provide good exercise; get you in motion, increase flexibility and strength. Remember motion is the lotion that alleviates chronic pain.
  • Group 4- Mind-body experiences – Prime examples are mindfulness, meditation and visualization which we just reviewed in the last 2 blogs.

Sometimes proponents of certain techniques overstate their benefits and there are unscrupulous practitioners out there that are trying to get pain/ illness sufferers to listen to unproven therapy for their money, so be cautious. I am an advocate for sincerity and integrity in healthcare and those taking advantage of the chronic illness/chronic pain population are despicable whether using conventional or complementary techniques

Complementary techniques can help, especially in combination with other modalities. Find the guidance you need and take responsibility for your care by thoroughly evaluating these therapies. Check on the training of the provider, consider cost and make sure you have a good attitude towards the therapy before jumping in. What I’m saying here is do your homework.

The best therapy is that which works .Sounds easy doesn’t it, but we still have people doing things that don’t help and not trying out opportunities that may. Find a healthcare provider that is willing to work with you on complementary techniques so you will not miss out on any great opportunities.

Take Care
Dr. Kent

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