Here at our integrative medical clinic, we commonly hear the question “What is integrative medicine?”
What Is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine takes a “whole-person” approach to health. It’s healing modality includes not just the body, but the mind and spirit as well. In integrative medicine, both traditional and complementary therapies are used, and they are often syncronized to create a synergistic effect. There’s often a heavy emphasis on lifestyle changes in integrative medicine that just isn’t typically there in traditional medicine, and the doctor/patient relationship is often much closer. In our office, we prioritize taking time to deeply listen to the patient.
For example, if a thyroid condition was created or worsened by adrenal fatigue, I would not only do the traditional medical tests and perhaps offer medication for thyroid, but myself or members of my staff could also offer nutritional counseling, vitamin recommendations specific to the condition, massage therapy to reduce stress and psychotherapy to address root issues creating the adrenal stress.
What Integrative Therapies Are Available?
In this clinic, integrative medical therapies which complements Western Medicine currently include:
- Allergy Treatment
- Anti-Aging Healing Therapies
- Hypnotherapy / Regression Therapy
- DNA Analysis and Counseling
- Health and Nutrition Coaching
- Integrative Massage Therapy
- Psychotherapy / Health Psychology / Brief Cognitive Psychology
- Spiritual & Energy Healing Modes
What Elements Make Integrative Medicine Different?
You’ll often hear integrative medicine and CAM discussed at the same time. CAM stands for “Complementary and Alternative Medicine”. Complementary medicine therapies are used to enhance and extend the effects of traditional medicine. Alternative therapies typically replace traditional medicine. In our clinic, we combine conventional medicine with CAM, so that the best combination of therapies is available. We carefully evaluate your particular issue, as well as the surrounding lifestyle and even genetic factors, to choose the therapy or combination of therapies that will work best for you.
- Integrative medicine takes a collaborative, partnership approach among the therapy team and with the patient
- Both conventional and alternative therapies are used in synchrony to support the body’s own healing response
- Focuses on preventative medicine as well as treatment
- Body, mind, spirit and even community issues are taken into account in a holistic approach
- Uses natural, less invasive therapies when possible
- “Cherry-picks” the best of conventional, complementary and alternative medicine modalities
Is Integrative Medicine More Expensive?
If you look at long-term factors, integrative medicine is a big money-saver. For example, in the Bravewell Collaborative report, The Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness of Integrative Medicine, it is reported that with an integrative medicine supported lifestyle change program, 80% of participants were able to safely avoid heart surgery or angioplasty. This generated a savings almost $30,000 per patient in the first year alone!
We believe that getting to the source of your illness and eliminating it whenever possible is always a better choice that masking symptoms with medication, because a medication-only approach doesn’t usually prevent your condition from getting worse. If you don’t address the source of your medical problem, over the long-term you’ll likely deal with more doctor visits, more pain, less ability to work and function, and less quality of life. Ongoing increases in both the quantity and types of medications are common, and even surgical intervention may be more likely to occur.
With integrative medicine, we take the best from conventional medicine, provide short-term relief where possible, and then address ways to reduce or eliminate the causes of the condition in the first place, so that you don’t have to deal with long-term costs and consequences.
If you’ve been hearing more about these issues and asking yourself “What is Integrative Medicine”, consider booking an appointment with our Hong Kong Integrative Medicine Clinic to explore how we can help.