What Is Integrative Medicine Actually?

How many times have you gone to see your doctor for a specific problem only to be given a prescription and sent on your way? The prescription seems to help, but doesn't make the problem disappear completely. So as soon as you finish your prescription, the problem returns. 

It's a nasty cycle that you've found yourself in time and time again. And, it's probably the reason you found this article.

When you're looking to resolve something happening in your body, our traditional western medicine has fallen short. It's excellent at treating the symptoms, but not the real, root cause of the problem.

We believe in the body's ability to heal itself, which is why at Vitality Integrative Wellness, we practice Integrative Medicine.


What is Integrative Medicine?

If this is the first time you've heard of Integrative Medicine, you probably assume it's some alternative or "new age" way of treating illnesses and ailments. And many other traditional doctors may tell you the same, simply because it's not part of their education. 

Integrative Medicine is defined by the University of Arizona as "healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person" (integrativemedicine.arizona.edu). The goal of integrative medicine isn't to put a band-aid fix on an ailment. It's to look at all aspects of health and lifestyle, and uncover what's actually causing symptoms. 

And, these treatments aren't new. Progressive doctors have been working toward offering a more holistic approach for decades. The focus is more on listening to patients’ problems rather than prescribing a quick-fix to what they might be experiencing. This includes arthritis, sinusitis, fibromyalgia, type II diabetes, and much more. 


The Holistic Approach

Successful healing starts with focusing on your whole health. 

Unfortunately, symptom management doesn't help your body actually heal. A holistic or integrative doctor will ask questions about your family's health history, your diet, exercise, sleep habits, and more in order to get a better picture of your overall health (webmd.com).

By discovering more about all aspects of your lifestyle, an integrative health professional works with you and your other healthcare providers to find the solution. 

For example, let's consider headaches. Headaches can range from being a nuisance to completely debilitating. Most often, we take an over-the-counter pain killer and the headache will disappear. 

This doesn't tell us why the headache happened in the first place. By asking a few questions, we can identify what type of headache it is and what may be causing it, whether it be a nerve issue in your neck, a dietary issue that needs to be addressed, or other root causes.


The Bottom Line

Not all medicine is the same. By working to uncover the root cause of your symptoms, you can assist your body in healing itself so that you can feel your best from the inside out!