Physicians of Integrative Medicine “restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process.”
The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health defines Integrative Medicine as specialty of practice which “reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing” (3). Through the prescription of healthy nutritional plans, lifestyle counseling, exercise as medicine, and other alternative therapies whose products are natural and minimally invasive, Pacific Coast Sports Medicine’s Integrative Medicine physicians improve the health and well-being of our patients (2).
What is the intention of Integrative Medicine?
It is a form of primary care that serves to treat patients with techniques and products that are non-invasive, safe, and natural. Like doctors of naturopathy, Integrative Medicine doctors focus on the promotion of health and wellness and are extensively trained in the areas of nutrition, stress reduction and management, disease prevention, and herbal medicine (1). Patient reports on the benefits of the care and service received from naturopathic physicians is well documented in current research literature.
Several themes stand out among doctors of Integrative Medicine:
- They are patient-centered, often meeting with patients for 30-60 minutes.
- They are collaborative with their patients, including them in the selection of treatment as well as engaging them in the evaluation of the effects of their treatment.
- They are holistic, attending not only to the patient’s specific ailment but also to other systems of the body that contribute to the overall health of the individual.
- They provide detailed, specific, and individualized counseling in order to promote improved health in their patients.
- Their counseling promotes patient empowerment and self-management, rather than the reliance on drugs that suppress undesirable symptoms.
- Their recommendations are pragmatic, giving patients practical ways to implement the improvement of their health.
- Their counsel helps patients develop a better understanding of their disease, illness, or injury, allowing them to make better-informed decisions with regards to the course of treatment they want to undergo (3).
What conditions can be treated by Integrative Medicine?
There are a myriad of diseases and ailments that nature-based care has been shown to be significantly effective in treating (3,5,6). For example, after one year of naturopathic treatments in patients with cardiovascular disease, the prevalence of those who developed metabolic syndrome reduced by 16.9% (4). For those with low back pain, natural care has been shown to have superior results compared to standard treatments. Reduced disability, improved weight loss, and increases in function, mobility, and general quality of life are outcomes that are often seen after holistic, alternative care (5).
Integrative Medicine encompasses many services and treatments offered at Pacific Coast Sports Medicine in order to provide patients alternatives and collaborative approaches to their quest toward regenerative medicine.
- Elder CR. Integrating naturopathy: can we move forward? Perm J. 2013;17(4):80-3.
- Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrative_medicine. Accessed January 18, 2016.
- Oberg EB, Bradley R, Hsu C, et al. Patient-reported experiences with first-time naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48549.
- Seely D, Szczurko O, Cooley K, et al. Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized clinical trial. CMAJ. 2013;185(9):E409-16.
- Szczurko O, Cooley K, Busse JW, et al. Naturopathic care for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial. PLoS One. 2007;2(9):e919.
- Szczurko O, Cooley K, Mills EJ, Zhou Q, Perri D, Seely D. Naturopathic treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis among Canadian postal workers: a randomized controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;61(8):1037-45.