Top Five Reasons People Choose Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine is a newer form of medicine that focuses on combining medical treatments from different philosophies for the best possible outcomes. In this article we will explain the top five reasons people choose integrative medicine, and what you can expect from your integrative medicine doctor.
An integrative medicine doctor is typically trained in a naturopathic medical school where they learn both conventional (allopathic) and alternative diagnostics and treatments. Other's are trained in conventional medical school and later take courses to learn about alternative diagnostics and treatments. In both cases, you end up with a doctor who has knowledge of both types of treatments and approaches. The advantage is that when one system of medicine offers little or no treatment options, the doctor can refer to the other system of medicine. We came up with what we consider the top 5 reasons people choose to see us.
And now without further delay... "the top 5 reason people choose integrative medicine"
Reason # 1 - Feeling heard.
The first and probably the most important is that with integrative medicine the patient feels heard. Often times if patients have complaints that don't have a corresponding objective measure, the symptom is dismissed or ignored. This is a major downside of conventional medicine..... The theory is "if you can't measure it, it does not exist." Yet the patient does still feel the symptom and it's not going away. Seeking relief and answers for these symptoms is typically what leads people to alternative treatments. However when used without any knowledge of the treatment or the processes of the body, it can lead to harm or unfavorable results.
Reason #2 - Guidance with natural treatments.
Just like conventional medicines need to be taken at specific dosages to create symptom improvements, so does alternative medicines. When you go to the supplement store and pick up a random supplement, it can be like throwing darts at a dart board. Sure the supplement may say "anxiety relief formula", yet it may not do what it says.
First off, the supplement facts may not suggest the correct dose to get favorable improvement in your stress or anxiety. If you do end up taking the correct dose, not all herbs and nutrients are equally beneficial. Some have very strong evidence to be helpful for certain types of anxiety, while others are less favorable. By utilizing an integrative medicine doctor you have a doctor that can recommend effective dosages and the most favorable herbs, nutrients, etc. for your condition. Plus you will have a proper diagnosis for the symptom you are seeking treatment for. If you have anxiety, it may be from hyperthyroid, anemia, arrhythmia, depression, mania, etc. Not all supplements will help with these causes of anxiety.
Reason #3 - No "hand on the door syndrome".
Many conventional doctors are afflicted with "hand on the door syndrome' ........ You know, after 5-10 minutes they are walking to the door to move on to the next patient. As they lurch for the handle you quickly sputter out your last questions in hopes of a few more precious seconds of their time. How ridiculous is this? Well in their defense, this behavior is usually a product of a broken system rather than poor social skills.
The amount of time integrative medicine doctors spend with their patients is typically 3-5 times more than conventional doctors. Taking time to get to know the person in front of you is a very valuable aspect of treatment and most integrative doctors know this. In the long run, this approach makes treatments more safe and effective.
Reason #4 - Least invasive and most effective treatments.
It's no secret that alternative medicines tend to be much safer than conventional medicines. However, not all alternative medicines will be effective for your particular health situation. Knowing which situations to use alternative medicine and which situations to use conventional can make a big different in your health over the long run.
Less invasive treatment options should always be the first resort and integrative medicine doctors know this. The trick is knowing when a minimally invasive treatment should and could be used over a more invasive treatment. This is where a doctor that knows both treatment options can help.
Reason #5 - Education on your health issues.
Some health conditions have a clear cause, while others are merely associated with causes. In the process of treatment it is important to rule out and treat these known causes first. For example, high cholesterol is obviously associated with diet and lifestyle. Many times diet is the only cause of high cholesterol while other times it has less of an impact. Still many patients come to our clinic with little to no education on how to actually lower their cholesterol with diet. Instead, they are told "you need to change your diet" or put on a cholesterol lowering medication.
Knowing the impact of environmental, diet, exercise, psychological, and genetic factors on your health condition, can have a huge impact on compliance and effectiveness of treatments. Integrative medicine doctors help you learn and engage in your health for the long term success. They do this by listening, taking time to get to know you, educate you, and guide you to the best treatment from where you are today.