Integrated Health- 7 Health Complaints It Can Help
In my twenty-two plus years as a health care practitioner and consumer of care, I have seen first hand the benefits and the shortcomings of the health care system as a whole. My healthcare experiences as a mother have opened my eyes to the need for change and shift in approach to healthcare. We need an integrated care model, which is a combination of allopathic medicine (modern medicine), energy medicine and functional medicine, or lifestyle management with nutrition, exercise and mindful living. These are the keys to health and balance, an interweaving of all three: Mind, Body and Spirit. This is integrative health. I call myself ‘An Integrative Bridge to Health’ because I believe I straddle both worlds of Allopathic and Energy/Functional Medicine. I embrace the goal of getting to the root of the problem and promoting balance in the body, mind and spirit. This is done, in my experience, not by rejecting one form of medicine, but gathering assistance from all and weaving it into a personalized, individual combination to promote health and healing.
We must be participants versus observers in our overall health. Caroline Myss, a medical intuitive and teacher/speaker/author about energy medicine, believes, “Energy medicine requires cooperation, where allopathic medicine does not- it is passive. Energy medicine requires that you do your part.” Some medical intuitive and holistic doctors are too “woo woo” for scientifically grounded people to fully embrace, although… they are often spot on. As a grounded and skeptical individual who has been gifted with some ‘Woo woo’ experiences and abilities, I hope to help shift medicine towards a more integrative, whole person, less pharmaceutically dependent path.
Here are 7 illnesses/ diseases where Integrative medicine can help based on science and research. This is also known as Complimentary and Alternative Medicine :
- Cancer Treatment. Use of reiki and acupuncture as well as guided imagery has helped lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and balance the body post treatment. Nutrition plays a big role in healing and remission as well as gene expression.
- Cardiovascular Disease. Diet and exercise has played a huge role in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. More research is being done on the effects of energy medicine on cardiovascular disease today.
- Autoimmune Disease and arthritis. Research has shown that anti-inflammatory diets and exercise as well as the use of neutraceuticals such as Turmeric/ Curcumin, Omega 3 Fatty acids, coconut oil, cocoa and coffee help to mitigate inflammation. Sugar has been shown to exacerbate inflammation, so low sugar/glycemic diets help here as well as high fat or modified ketogenic diets. Acupuncture and reiki can both help with pain management and balance of the body.
- Diabetes. Diet and exercise play large roles in balancing or lowering blood sugar and insulin dependency or insulin fluctuation. Complimentary medicine has been shown to be effective in diabetes management as well.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders. Acupuncture and reiki as well as diet, probiotics and exercise have been shown to help greatly with various gastrointestinal issues. Finding the right combination for your particular ailment is key to body balance. Many energy medicine practitioners believe disorders in the gut and GI tract are energy related- needing energy movement clearing and re-balancing.
- Depression, anxiety and ADHD. New research has come out linking Mediterranean diet and increased healthy fats to improvements with depression and mental health. The Feingold Institute has long touted eliminating food coloring/dye and chemical additives from diet to improve asthma, allergies, ADHD and mood. John Ratey, author of SPARK, a Harvard Professor and founder of Eagle Hill School, has researched and touted exercise as a key to helping with focus, learning and even mood. Mindfulness research has shown that being present without judgment and breathing exercises greatly improve anxiety and depression and lower the stress response.
- Headaches and Neurological Disorders. There is a lot of research about diet and neutraceuticals as well as sleep on headaches, but more importantly Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Research has found healthy fats and low sugar, or ketogenic diets to help improve cognitive function and performance and slowing of progression of disease. Migraine headaches have been shown to respond and decrease with elimination diets as well as acupuncture and energy medicine.
Theses are among a few of the common complaints and disease we face today that, with cooperation and participation in healing, can be addressed in an integrative fashion. In acute, flair up or major body imbalance, I will often let allopathic medicine begin to bring body in balance, usually with medication. The integrative piece with functional and energy medicine begins once the extreme imbalance is mitigated with the goal of getting off the medication and bringing the body back to balance as well as maintaining that balance over time. Integrative health takes cooperation, collaboration and participation of all parties involved.
“The biggest opponent you will ever face is your inner self”- Caroline Myss.