What is Integrative Medicine?
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine encompasses all evidence-based healing modalities. By using an integrative approach and a variety of modalities, integrative medicine specialists can boost patient wellness.
They often use conventional methods to provide a diagnosis, followed by treatments that include complementary and alternative therapies which often fall outside of the realm of conventional medicine.
Integrative medicine treatment options include, but are not limited to, traditional Chinese medicine, Aayurvedic medicine, energy healing, sound healing, and manual therapy.
What is Functional Medicine?
Under the umbrella of integrative medicine is functional medicine, a patient-care approach that prioritizes the health and well-being of the individual and tailors the treatment plan to the unique needs of each patient.
In other words, functional medicine prioritizes treating the patient, not just the disease. Integrative and functional medicine are closely related and share a primary goal: to get each patient feeling their best so they can focus on living their best life.
Since these approaches prioritize holistic care and personalized treatment, many consider them to be the future models of healthcare.
What makes these approaches at Joy Wellness Partners unique?
To begin with, JWP®’s integrative and functional medicine providers seek to discover the root cause of a patient’s medical problems. While symptoms are often treated to provide immediate relief, the primary goals are to cure disease and prevent problems, when possible.
Another important facet of integrative and functional medicine is the personalization of treatment. Specialized JWP® providers analyze medical histories and test results, and select therapies to specifically meet the unique chemical and genetic differences of each patient, while respecting their individual world views. For example, when working with a vegetarian, the provider will select therapies in line with the patient’s views. Integrative and functional medicine providers will also present several viable options so that the patient has a part in choosing the treatment.
In addition, JWP®’s integrative and functional medicine providers approach each patient holistically; they consider the whole body and not just the part that hurts or is in a disease state. If a patient selects a comprehensive integrative analysis, they will receive a consultation on how genetics, environmental factors, diet, exercise, personal habits, stress, sleep, gut function, inflammation level, and hormone levels affect their medical concerns. Treatments will be individually tailored after a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and lab test results, and will include lifestyle approaches, dietary supplements and botanicals, stress and mind-body techniques, and possible referral to other complementary and whole-systems based practitioners. They may also suggest neurofeedback to optimize brain health.
Why are these approaches valuable?
Genetics are the deck of cards each person is dealt at birth. Epigenetics refers to how each individual plays the cards they were dealt. Stress, exercise, sleep and diet will all affect whether or not our genetic predisposition becomes a disease. Just as cars run on different fuels ranging from diesel to gasoline to electricity, so each human varies and has many different requirements to ensure proper function. To continue the analogy, putting gasoline into an electric car will not only prevent the car from running; it will cause significant damage. Similarly, humans have adapted to survive in particular environments and when their environments change faster than they can adapt, problems develop. Present-day lifestyles and food choices would be unrecognizable by our great grandparents; three generations is not enough time for our bodies to adapt. This is likely a reason why 50 million Americans have auto-immune diseases (more than heart disease and cancer combined). Once you have one auto-immune disease, you are three times more likely to develop other auto-immune diseases. The good news is that through functional and integrative medicine, JWP® providers have tools to help prevent or reverse auto-immune diseases.
Who are JWP®’s Integrative and Functional Medicine Specialists?
Our supervising physician, Dr. Allison Mulcahy, completed a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine with Dr. Weill’s University of Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine and a one year functional and ancestral medicine certification program with Chris Kresser’s ADAPT academy. She is board-certified in Integrative Medicine.
Dr. Ryan McNally was the former Chief Medical Officer at Bastyr University in the naturopathic medicine program and is currently faculty at the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine where he teaches conventional medical doctors how to practice integrative medicine. He has over 13 years of medical experience spanning integrative medicine, conventional medicine, bioidentical hormone therapy, and regenerative medicine.
Through their expertise, the specialists at Joy Wellness Partners can offer an integrative medicine approach that will find the root cause of your condition, review all aspects of your current health and lifestyle, and tailor a treatment plan to help get you back to doing what you love.
If you are not sure where to start, don’t worry. Give us a call: 858-609-0866. We’re here for you!
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