What to expect when you go for an Integrative Medicine consultation?
Inside- Better understanding about when to work with an Integrative Medicine Practice. Know what to expect from a Integrative Medicine consultation. Answers to your question - Are all Integrative Medicine Doctors MD? What does a trained Integrative Medicine Doctor do differently
Integrative medicine consultation provides you with a comprehensive plan of care to treat you as a whole person rather than just focusing on your disease.
Integrative medicine is defined as the branch of medicine which combines conventional medicine along with other modalities of treatment available.
When you consult an Integrative medicine physician he/she includes the best evidence-based treatment options available to help your physical, mental, and spiritual health, hence Intergarive medicine is often referred to as holistic medicine.
Integrative medicine practices are getting more and more popular as people are realizing that conventional medical doctors are not able to provide them with complete care. And since we as a society are acknowledging the connection of mind and body; and we realize that when one is stirred the other gets affected naturally.
Optimal Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just the absence of disease. This is a major difference in belief when it comes to Integrative Medicine vs Conventional Medicine.
Conventional medicine believes optimal health is the absence of disease; while integrative health believes in a satisfactory balance between the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of an individual.
Hence an Integrative medicine doctor helps to restore the complete health of a person along with treating the disease that the person is initially visited the doctor for.
When to work with an Integrative Medical Practice?
Integrative medical practice is a place where the physician works closely with their patients, they form a team and work together to reach the health goals of the patient.
Here are the most common scenarios when a person seeks to shift to integrative medicine from conventional medicine when they are currently unhappy with the conventional model of care --
- The main reason being they are offered the medicine which actually is not treating their disease permanently, sometimes the medicine does not work at all.
- The patient is not ready to go on medicine for chronic disease as they believe they will have to continue taking that medicine for life long.
- Because their chronic disease is still at a very young stage, they want to try to reverse the disease possibly.
- Another complaint that patients have about their conventional medicine doctors is that they don’t spend any time listening to the patient’s perspective of their treatment, and they feel they have no say in their own care.
The above are the most common scenarios when patients turn to integrative medicine consultations.
With an integrative medicine consult almost all these concerns get answered. Since an integrative medical practice actually, tries to reverse the disease with different modalities in addition to the currently available medicines. The consultations are very detailed since both the doctor and the patient form the treatment plan together depending on how much the patient is willing to do to reverse their disease.
The best part is that patients feel more satisfied and in control of their care by working with an integrative medicine doctor.
The demand for integrative medicine doctors is rising rapidly. In the US itself people are spending $ 9billion every year on integrative medicine modalities.
What to expect in an integrative medicine consultation.
Integrative medicine practice is set up with the focus on providing the highest quality care to their patients.
Integrative medicine consultation is an in-depth look at your health and then making a plan to achieve the health goal.
The typical process you should expect in integrative medicine consultation is --
1.Collecting information: An integrative medicine doctor wants to know everything about your health as well as what has happened in your life.
So when you decide to become a client at an integrative medicine practice, they will ask you to fill a comprehensive intake form. This form will not only be interested in knowing about your current health or disease state but what was has been your health since your childhood.
This form also focuses on all different environmental factors like stress, previous antibiotics use, toxin exposure, previous infections, etc that might affect your current health.
2.Listening to your story: Everyone has a life story, (at least that’s what I believe as an integrative medicine physician). So the very first time you are going to meet your integrative medicine doctor he is going to ask your life story.
And it is so amazing to see the surprise in our client's face when they hear that their doctor likes to hear their story. Because this is the first time in their life any doctor had the time to listen to their side of the story.
3.Making a comprehensive plan: After evaluating all the information collected from both your intake form and also listening to your story, the integrative medicine doctor is going to make the best plan suited for your condition.
This plan not only includes conventional medicines( if needed), but focuses on lifestyle changes. The lifestyle changes include discussing the best diet for your body and condition, best supplements that you can use which do not interact with your current medications, working on stress management, and optimizing your exercise plan.
4.Being your accountability partner: For most people making several changes to their lifestyle is overwhelming. But there is nothing to worry as your doctor is going to be there to help and simplify the whole plan for you.
Before you leave the integrative medicine consultation you will have a discussion about how to implement this whole plan, and what resources you have to succeed.
Your integrative medicine doctor will be your accountability partner for the future also and will keep a regular check on you so that you feel supported, and never feel alone in this journey.
So as you will see this kind of approach towards your health is completely different from what you are used to seeing in conventional medicine practices.
Here, you are the focus; and your integrative medicine doctor will do everything to support and help you to succeed.
Are Integrative Medicine Doctors MD?
So not all integrative medicine doctors are MD, but most of them are.
It is very important to know what kind of training your doctor got before you start working with them.
The good part is doctors can be fellowship trained in integrative medicine.
Fellowship training equips the doctor with the latest and evidence-based treatment modalities that he can use in his integrative medicine practice.
Trained Integrative Medicine Doctor does things differently --
Some of the things you should expect from a well trained and good integrative medicine doctor are:
- The integrative medicine doctor provides you with the best treatment options combing both conventional and integrative medicine modalities.
- An Integrative Medicine physician doesn’t dictate the terms of your treatment plan, rather he is going to listen to you and work with you to make the best plan.
- People might have different religious, spiritual, and food preferences. Good integrative medicine doctor respects those and tries to craft the plan based on your beliefs and preferences
- They will be with you at every step of the program implementation. What this means is that you will never be left alone to figure things on your own.
- He will make a plan that will focus on all aspects of health like physical, mental, and spiritual.
- And the most important is that the standard and quality of care that you deserve will be provided by Integrative medicine doctors. They have committed to your health by putting extra efforts to get educated in the field of integrative medicine. And their only mission and goal is to help their patient achieve their highest level of health.
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