You may have heard the term integrative medicine before, but you may not know what it means. We at Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation would like you to know that if pain or chronic conditions are making life challenging for you, integrative medicine may provide the solution that you need.
In today’s blog, we want to go over what integrative medicine is and how it can help you or a loved one. Read on, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our center.
What Defines Integrative Medicine?
In medicine, the word “integrative” refers to combining allopathic and complementary therapies.
Allopathic therapies treat diseases primarily through medications and surgical procedures.
Complementary therapies are used alongside conventional medical treatments and typically involve a more natural approach to help achieve greater pain relief, patient comfort, and health improvements.
So integrative medicine, then, is about combining our traditional Western-based approach to health with additional, time-tested complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care, to amplify results, speed up healing, relieve pain, and achieve a higher level of wellness than what’s possible through traditional treatments alone.
In other words, it combines the best of both worlds for a better patient experience and, often, improved results and quicker healing!
The Basics Of What’s Involved
If you’ve ever been to the doctor’s office to treat an ear infection with antibiotics, for example, you’re familiar with allopathic therapies.
If you’ve ever had any type of surgical procedure in a clinic or hospital setting, you’ve been treated through allopathic therapies.
But what about complementary therapies? You have tried these types of therapies if you’ve ever had any of the following:
- An appointment with a chiropractor for chiropractic manipulative treatment (CMT)
- A visit to a chiropractor or physical therapist for a manual therapy (MT) session
- Instructions for an effective, comprehensive pain management approach from a physiatrist, psychiatrist, or other licensed health professional
- A medical acupuncture appointment
- A therapeutic massage session
These types of complementary therapies are designed to bring added benefits and relief, and they often work best when paired with allopathic treatments. That’s the beauty of integrative medicine: it effectively increases the number of approaches a health specialist can tap into to bring each patient far better improvements than one therapy alone can.
Integrative Healthcare And Rehabilitation
Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person. You are more than your symptoms; an integrative approach to your healing recognizes this and addresses everything that makes up who you are for more complete, lasting healing.
Through integrated healthcare approaches, a medical specialist can make use of all appropriate, evidence-based therapeutic approaches, not just one or two. Since good health is much more than simply the absence of disease, the multidisciplinary approach that integrative medicine offers enables a practitioner to tap into both modern science and ancient healing wisdom to accelerate healing and enhance wellbeing, as well as prevent future health issues from developing.
In terms of rehabilitation, complementary integrative therapies can help you heal better, faster, and more comfortably, with lasting results. The use of complementary therapies can be incredibly effective in treating symptoms of lingering pain after you’ve recovered from an injury or following any type of surgery.
How Medical Acupuncture Fits In
One of the modalities available through complementary medicine is medical acupuncture. This involves using ancient Chinese techniques and very fine needles to promote healing. Many patients find significant pain relief and improved wellbeing through acupuncture, which is effective as a complementary treatment option and also on its own. Here are some of the ways in which medical acupuncture is known to help:
- Reduced digestive disorder symptoms, including less bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
- Fewer respiratory disorders, including fewer instances of asthma attacks, bronchitis, or sinusitis
- Improvements seen with neurological disorders, including fewer headaches, facial tics, or instances of neck pain
- Improvements in other areas, including the urinary tract and diminished discomfort associated with menstrual cycles
At Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation And Pain Center, we use medical acupuncture to treat a wide range of conditions. It’s safe for all ages, and it brings greater relief even in patients who’ve experienced chronic pain for a long time.
As part of our medical acupuncture approach, we offer children’s acupuncture that is safe and effective in treating everything from migraine headaches to depression, and from digestive issues to symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
We also offer medical acupuncture for infertility issues. Scientific studies show many favorable results. For example, in a 2002 research effort in Germany, the analysis shows that women who received medical acupuncture treatments right before and after in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures achieved a pregnancy rate 50% higher than the control group that did not attend acupuncture sessions.
In addition, our center offers a military acupuncture clinic here in the greater Washington DC region. Since 2009, we’ve been providing free community acupuncture treatments to recent veterans and their families in order to address and treat symptoms related to post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
The Important Role Of Chiropractic Care
Our center also offers chiropractic care because through this modality, we are able to achieve healing by directly manipulating the musculoskeletal system to make much-needed adjustments and release trapped pressure, thus bringing about relief.
Chiropractic care is an important complementary therapy because it’s evidence-based and often reaches the problem directly at the source. Benefits can include the following:
- Pain alleviation and reduction
- Quicker and more complete healing following an injury or surgery
- Improved mobility when treating a wide range of physical conditions
- Improved breathing in chest-related conditions
- Fewer headaches or migraines, and less-intense episodes
- A reduction in menstrual pain or symptoms of endometriosis
- A reduction in the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
Writing about the many benefits of chiropractic care would take an entire blog! We’ll save that for another time. In the meantime, we invite you to read our previous blog post, 7 Questions To Ask Your Chiropractor, to learn more about chiropractic care and to get started with this effective form of treatment.
Contact Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation To Learn More
Now that you know more about integrative medicine and its many benefits, it may be time to discover what this powerful form of medicine can do for you! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Advanced Integrative Rehabilitation and Pain Center in Washington, DC.
We also have an integrative health location in McLean, VA to serve you, if that’s more convenient for you. Call either center with your questions, and if you’re ready to make an appointment, we’re ready to help you through our multidisciplinary integrative approach! Contact us today. We are here to help you live your best!