Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine is classically defined as ‘relationship-centered care that focuses on the whole person, making use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing, including evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine.’

Based on this definition, there are four major principals that an integrative practitioner must adhere to:

1-     Use the innate healing power of the body to support and facilitate that natural capacity.

2-      View and treat the patient as a whole physical/emotional/mental and spiritual member of a community and society. This self-healing power of the body decreases with aging and is at its peak during childhood and adolescence.

3-     Implement the necessary lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are a cornerstone of this model since the state of our health is the result of interactions between genes and our environment. Diet, physical activity, stress, sleep, rest, fulfilling relationships, work, and school, etc. are examples of aspects of lifestyle that are addressed during the development of treatment plans.

4-     Fully utilize the critical healing power of the doctor-patient/parents relationship. The importance of the healing relationship between a physician and the patient is a well-known fact which, due to the managed care environment, has taken a back seat in the current western way of therapy.

In other words, integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that focuses on the ‘whole’ individual (body-mind-spirit) as well as all aspects of lifestyle and making use of appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. Based on this model, the physician takes the time to listen and understand the parents’ ideas and choices and incorporates their feedback into the treatment plan.

The typical western medicine model of symptomatic treatment of patients is redirected toward preventive care so that symptoms have less of a chance to develop in the first place. The common and overuse of medications especially antibiotics are replaced with prudent use of medications complemented with nutritional therapies, herbs, and supplements.

The field of integrative medicine is rapidly developing and growing, and it is exciting for us physicians to be at the forefront of this new field.   The limitations posed by the current western model of medicine and the ensuing frustrations have encouraged us to look at the human health and illness from a different and more comprehensive perspective. The consumers, too, are demanding a more comprehensive approach to their health. They want to know why more and more of them are developing autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and other chronic diseases. They want to know why so many unnecessary medications with potential dangerous side-effects are being prescribed to them.

The current medicine model is at crossroads and needs reinvention. The integrative medicine model is at the forefront of building such an alternative model by creating a more holistic, patient-specific, least invasive approach with the focus on preventive care.

This model, besides conventional medicine, integrates and utilized multiple different healing modalities from a cross-section of therapeutic models some of which may include:

1-     Acupuncture

2-     Aromatherapy

3-     Environmental and body detoxification

4-     Exercise medicine

5-     Functional medicine

6-     Herbal and supplements

7-     Homeopathy

8-     Massage and Chiropractic therapies

9-     Mind-body medicine

10-  Naturopathic medicine

11-  Nutritional and diet therapy

12-  Osteopathic Medicine

Integrative medicine can address or complement the treatment of many medical conditions that are not adequately addressed by the conventional model such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acne
  • ADD / ADHD
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Behavioral and mental disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cholesterol elevation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive issues
  • Eczema
  • Ear infections
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food allergies
  • Gluten sensitivities
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS and IBD)
  • Headache
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Immune system disorders
  • Infections
  • Leaky gut
  • Loss of libido
  • Menopause
  • Mood disorders
  • Premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
  • Preventive care
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress induced disorders
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Weight issues

Integrative medicine is still evolving and promises to usher a new healthcare model that is focused on delivering comprehensive, customized, and most efficient and cost-effective means of healing to our patients. This model seeks not only to treat ailments but to create health and a sense of wellbeing. An integrative pediatrician will be best suited to lead the way in this health revolution.


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Carolina Integrative Clinic
Phone: (919) 869-6661
Fax: (919) 301-9349
Telehealth and long-distance consultations available

Comprehensive Integrative Healthcare for All Ages