What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is the practice of medicine that focuses on the whole person and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals, and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
It combines state-of-the-art, conventional medical treatments with other therapies that are carefully selected and shown to be effective and safe. The goal is to unite the best that conventional medicine has to offer with other healing systems and therapies derived from cultures and ideas both old and new.
Integrative medicine is based upon a model of health and wellness, as opposed to a model of disease. From boosting your overall sense of well-being to managing your pain, we offer specialized advice and programs that can help you by:
- Better handling side effects from chemotherapy and radiation
- Minimizing anxiety, depression, and stress
- Understanding your herb, vitamin, and other dietary supplement options
- Controlling fatigue, neuropathy, dry mouth, hot flashes, pain and other symptoms
- Improving muscle strength, balance, and endurance
- Reducing pain and muscle tension
- Tapping into and experience the power of controlling your breathing
Acupuncture is the insertion of hair-thin, stainless steel needles into the skin at specific locations to manipulate the flow of energy in the body. The National Institutes of Health states that acupuncture is proven to treat pain, neuropathy, nausea, and vomiting. Other conditions for which acupuncture appears promising include asthma, hot flashes and osteoarthritis. A typical session takes 40 minutes.
Conventional medicine asserts that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system, which releases chemicals that change the perception of pain and influence the body’s internal regulation system. Chinese medicine says it restores the body’s proper energy flow, which stimulates its natural healing abilities.
The Internal Family System Model Therapy
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is not family therapy. The name refers to each person’s internal community, or “family” of parts. Very often, our internal systems become organized around emotional pain, and how to manage it. An IFS therapist works with you to release pain, calm down problem areas and problem behaviors, and restore your original joy in life.
While people turn to integrative medicine for many reasons, studies show that the majority do so because they consider it to be more aligned with their values, beliefs, and philosophies about health and life than that of a strictly conventional medical approach.
Elizabeth Kimbrough, M.D. is board certified in Internal Medicine, Integrative Medicine and trained in the Internal Family System approach.