What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is a system of medical care that treats the whole person. It is care that is centered on the patient’s needs that makes use of the mind, body and spirit connection to promote wellness. It values healing as much as curing and affirms the importance of relationship, collaboration and choice in medicine. Integrative medicine blends the best of Western conventional approaches and complementary or alternative medicine to develop a diagnostic and therapeutic program.
What to Expect During Your Treatment
During your first visit, we will work together to determine the nature of the symptoms which brought you in to see me. I will complete a thorough, detailed evaluation of your symptoms, past medical and family history, general body systems and lifestyle habits. I will also examine your vital signs including pulse and blood pressure. A diagnosis will be made, we will discuss your individualized plan of care (including frequency and duration), and you will receive your first treatment.
Your treatment plan will be highly individualized to your specific needs. It will include education in self-care and may include a combination of the following:
- Acupuncture and non-needle acupuncture
- Orthopedic trigger point acupuncture
- Chinese herbal medicine prescription
- Chinese medical massage
- Conventional rehabilitation massage
- Therapeutic exercise and stretching
- Heat/ice, electrical stimulation, and cold laser therapy
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency Therapy
- Tui-na, moxabustion, gua-sha and cupping
- Stress management and lifestyle counseling
- Breathing techniques and meditation
- Sleep hygiene education
- Dietary counseling
Your initial consultation will last approximately 1-1.5 hours and follow up visits last approximately 30-45 minutes. Treatment with acupuncture should be comfortable, and many patients find it to be relaxing. Fine, sterile needles will be carefully inserted into the chosen acupuncture points during your treatment. The needles used are sterile surgical stainless-steel, disposable, very thin and have a rounded tip that is designed to gently part the skin, unlike the sharp cutting end of conventional medical hypodermic needles. Acupuncture needles differ from hypodermic needles in that they are solid and are ultra thin, similar in diameter to microfilaments or fiber optics. Acupuncture needles are far less likely to cause tissue damage, pain or bruising upon insertion.
As a general guideline, we will know if acupuncture is going to help you within the first several treatments. Many patients experience positive results after their first session. The length and course of your treatment will vary depending on your diagnosis and how long you have had the problem. A common misconception is that you must “believe” in acupuncture in order for it to work. As with Western medicine, acupuncture will work equally with those who believe and those who do not. It is interesting to note that acupuncture is widely and effectively used in veterinary medicine, and animals are not able to judge or assess the efficacy of treatment.