What is Integrative Medicine?

What Is Integrative Medicine

Integrative medical treatment, which is a blending of eastern and western medical therapies, has grown in popularity in the United States over the last decade. Holistic healing doctors like those at Southwest Integrative Medicine Arizona provide treatment that is focused on more than just prescription drugs. Your treatment plan will include naturopathic medicine and nutrition, emphasizing your body's healing ability. The treatment focus will be on wellness and your doctor will work with you to restore hormonal balance and help you achieve a healthy weight. Working together, you will determine the cause of your medical issue and the best method for coping with or curing it. You and your doctor will partner in the common goal of treating body, mind, and spirit at the same time.

Dr. Robin Terranella of Southwest Integrative Medicine believes a blending of eastern and western philosophies is the healthiest method for coping with disease. For instance, a person who has developed cancer may undergo chemotherapy, but when coupled with alternative treatments like IV nutrient therapy and acupuncture both treatments can be more effective. In many cases, the alternative treatment eases the side effects of the conventional treatments, as well as diminishing the pain associated with the illness or disease. The goals of integrative medicine are multiple and range from treating the entire person to finding the least invasive treatment options.

Despite its growing popularity ntegrative medicine treatments still have its skeptics. We know from our patient outomes that it works but there is plenty of science to validate its use too. Insurance companies are beginning to reimburse for alternative treatments, but many patients pay out of pocket for their alternative therapies and sometimes receive no compensation. 


The reason integrative medicine is appealing is because it is the antithesis of an overtaxed conventional medical system. Because of insurance companies, doctors are typically only able to spend 15 minutes per visit with their patients. This leaves them little time to get at the underlying cause of a problem, and even less of a chance to explain the benefits of treatment. At Southwest Integrative Medicine, doctors spend at least an hour with patients. Visits include a half-hour consultation followed by a physical exam. Lab work may be ordered, a treatment plan is established, and a follow-up call is given to ensure the treatment plan is on track. Patients enjoy the personalized care and the time integrative doctors invest in their well-being. There is often no waiting prior to your exam and tretment. According to Dr. Terranella, a proponent of naturopathc doctors arizona, "the goal of the visit is to "get a good understanding of what the health issues are and what the least invasive options for treatment will be. Treating a patient is about determining the cause of the problem, not just medicating the symptoms."

Improving Health with Lifestyle Changes

Many health problems that Southwest Integrative Medicine treats require lifestyle changes. If a person is overweight, he may suffer a variety of health conditions he is unaware of; he may visit the clinic with a complaint of headaches and poor energy. Being overweight may be part of the problem, but it may simply come down to a vitamin deficiency. Conventional medicine may provide prescription drugs to ease the pain of the headaches and discomfort of digestion, but integrative medicine will help a patient develop an eating plan that will promote weight loss, increase energy, and decrease of eliminate headache.

Integrative medicine also focuses on the health of cells and the hormones imbalance symptoms. When a person is suffering from health problems, it usually starts at the cellular level. Hormones and vitamins interact with the cells of the body and improve their overall function. So instead of focusing on the individual symptoms, integrative medicine will sometimes look at the function of cells for the root cause. This in addition, to a healthy mind and spirit will promote the body's ability to heal itself.

Integrative treatment plans incorporate a variety of treatment options. These could include alternative therapies like acupuncture, nutrient therapy or orthomolecular medicine, hormone therapy, herbal therapy, weight- loss plans, and vitamin injections. Dr. Terranella believes the most successful way to treat a person is to create a plan that includes therapeutic lifestyle changes. This is the simplest least invasive thing to do. When this is not enough he incorporates alternative therapy one at a time. You may have to be patient when it comes to reaping the rewards of alternative therapies. He has noticed patients sometimes have a tendency to overdo it with alternative therapies, or they give up on the treatment too quickly. He encourages patients to choose one treatment plan and stick to it. This is know in western medicine as an effective treatment trial. Some people may be familiar with anti-depressants needing 2-3 weeks before they take effect. The same parameters are true for some alternative treatments.

Dr. Terranella's goal is to get the most from both western and eastern medicine. He states, at Southwest Integrative Medicine "we try to utilize the best of both because both have value. Western medicine is incredible with technology and precision but we can sometimes lose the person when we focus our vision too narrowly on symptoms and diagnostics. As such, it is very important to get to know each person. We focus on providing the simplest, effective, and least invasive treatment for each individual".

If you would like to explore your treatment options, speak with a medical professionals at Southwest Integrative Medicine Arizona trusted source for integrative medicine.

The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

« Previous Question | Back To Frequently Asked Questions | Next Question »
Click Here To Get Started!

Follow Me