The experiences that patients have had with medicine have changed over the years. As managed care has taken control of how medicine is being practiced, the quality of health care has plummeted and patients’ frustrations have increased. Integrative Medicine is a specialty field that overcomes the limitations of traditional approaches to medicine by looking at the patient as a whole person: mind, body and soul.
The challenge becomes in finding a physician whose principles are in line with how medicine should really be practiced. The principles of Integrative Medicine involve incorporating the best of what Western Medicine has to offer with the best of what Natural and Holistic Medicine can offer. Prescribing medication is not the only answer to disease as it has become commonplace these days. There is so much more to healing than writing a prescription. Sometimes, medications are necessary, but often overused or even misused. There are so many natural and holistic treatments available that patients may not know about. A thorough medical history has to be obtained to really understand the contributing factors that have affected a patient’s health.
Education is the key and knowledge is truly powerful. The more knowledgeable you are about the changes in your body and health, the greater ability you have in improving your overall well-being. You need a physician who will be your partner in health, who will listen with care and compassion while being supportive of the changes you are going through. Prevention is an essential component to Integrative Medicine. It is easier to prevent disease than to treat it once it has occurred. Taking charge of your health, nutrition, fitness and spirituality will prolong your lifespan and improve your quality of life and happiness. Each patient’s care and treatment is individualized, as no two patients are exactly identical despite the same diagnosis.
The grounding principle of health is the healing power of love. Treating patients with kindness, acceptance and love will alter the course of life. I live by the principle of love, as one of my favorite of quotes from Mother Theresa is: “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters.” So live and love and start your journey into health!