Integrative medicine brings together the best techniques of conventional and alternative healthcare, including acupuncture, massage therapy and Tai Chi. Ask your primary care provider about integrative services that meet you and your family's lifestyle and needs. Integrative medicine is not a substitute for mainstream medicine. Instead, many primary care providers and some hospitals offer different types of integrative medicine or can link patients to alternative therapies.
Integrative medicine includes a variety of alternative therapies that may include:
Massage therapy means that a provider will manipulate (handle, rub or feel) your body to try to help it feel better. Massage therapy is done by someone called a massage therapist. Massage is a way to help with:
Mental health like anxiety and depression
Massage therapy is called a complementary therapy because it can be used in conjunction with clinical care to help with some conditions. Massage is used as an added treatment with regular medical care, and never in place of medical care.
It is important to eat a variety of nutritious foods to stay strong and healthy. Your health care provider may recommend that you take dietary supplements if you are not getting enough nutrients from the foods that you eat. Dietary supplements can be consumed through tablets, herbs, powders, capsules, drinks and foods. Examples of common dietary supplements include calcium, folate, iron and Vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
Talk to your health care provider before taking a new dietary supplement. Ingesting too much of certain dietary supplements can pose a risk to your health. Your provider will help you decide which supplements to take and how much.
Acupuncture can be used to help treat a wide variety of health conditions, including chronic pain, addiction, migraines, allergies and stress. Providers who perform acupuncture are called acupuncturists. The acupuncturist will ask the patient about health conditions and concerns. The acupuncturist will then partially insert tiny needles into the skin at specific points on the body. The needles are removed before the patient goes home. Acupuncture does not leave any lasting marks on the skin.
Using mind-body relaxation techniques, learn how to use your thoughts to positively influence some of your body’s physical responses, thereby decreasing stress.
Mind-body relaxation exercises have been shown to:
- Decrease anxiety
- Ease pain
- Enhance sleep
- Decrease the use of medication for post-surgical pain
- Decrease side effects of medical procedures
- Reduce recovery time and shorten hospital stays
- Strengthen the immune system and enhance the ability to heal
- Increase sense of control and well-being
Examples of mind-body calming exercises could include:
Relaxation Breathing Practice
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Mind-body relaxation techniques are not a substitute for medical care, but often can complement the clinical care you are receiving.
Our health does not just depend on our genes and family history. If we aren’t eating the right things or getting the right nutrients this can cause problems, or make health conditions worse. Nutritional medicine focuses on making sure that you are getting the right nutrients to help your body do its best, rather than just prescribing a medicine or procedure.
Here are some of the things that nutritional medicine might offer you:
Healthy diet guidelines and personalized diet advice
Connecting you with community resources to help you get the food you need
Doctors of osteopathic medicine believe that structural problems in the spinal column can affect the nerves that radiate out to different organs, causing disease. Using osteopathic manipulative therapy, also known as OMT, your physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques such as stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. These treatments can promote healing, decrease pain and increase overall mobility. OMT is used to treat many medical conditions including:
Low back pain
Repetitive stress injuries
Carpal Tunnel syndrome
OMT should not hurt and includes more than 40 different techniques including soft tissue massage, muscle energy work, myofascial release, and osteopathic cranial release (the application of soft pressure to your skull to stimulate healing). Other than individuals with bone cancer, bone or joint infection, osteoporosis or spinal fusion, patients of any age and with almost any health conditions can safely receive OMT.