Six benefits of integrative medicine

Integrative medicine uses a whole-person approach to healthcare that looks at all aspects of a person’s life, combining conventional and evidence-based therapies. This method is particularly fitting for disease prevention and treating chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease that are sensitive to both diet and lifestyle. The focus of integrative medicine is on nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep and incorporating evidence-based supplements as well as holistic treatments like hypnosis or acupuncture. We spoke with Shad Marvasti, MD, MPH, who gave us some insights into the benefits.

1. Offers natural, less invasive treatments

Prescription medications are often appropriate and necessary; however, for some, they may not be completely effective or have serious side effects. Integrative medicine offers natural approaches for addressing health and medical concerns, and it emphasizes minimally invasive treatments whenever possible. “I like to describe integrative medicine as a ‘marriage’ between conventional medicine and complementary (alternative) medicine,” says Dr. Marvasti. “It blends traditional medicine with safe, evidence-based alternative medicine while reinforcing your body’s innate ability to heal itself. As we improve your ability to optimize your diet and lifestyle, we often end up deprescribing medications.”

2. Improves your health and well-being

Integrative medicine places emphasis on promoting health and well-being as well as illness prevention through healthy living. It strives to prevent disease. This translates to fewer medications, visits to your doctor and hospitalizations.

3. Treats the person, not just the symptom or disease

Integrative medicine treats the whole person, not just the symptom or disease. It takes into consideration all factors that influence your health: Biological, behavioral, psychosocial and environmental. To be truly healthy requires not only physical but also emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.

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4. Addresses the root cause of disease

Integrative medicine supports optimal health because it addresses the root cause of disease. Instead of simply treating symptoms with medications, sometimes it is more important to look deeper at what else is going on. The goal is to empower you with the tools you need to optimize your health. This may include looking into gut health, mental health, physical strength, nutritional health and even examining sources of stress to manage them effectively.

5. Focuses on you and your needs

Integrative medicine is personalized medicine made especially for you, meaning your care is centered around you and your needs. Your physician spends time and works in collaboration with you to consider all the appropriate remedies. “It’s not just a pill for an ill,” states Dr. Marvasti.

6. Incorporates Eastern medicine

Herbs and botanicals have been used medicinally for thousands of years in Eastern medicine, even before pharmaceuticals were invented. “With this approach we are combining ancient empirical traditions with modern scientific knowledge, this is really a full-circle, inclusive approach to health and healing,” says Dr. Marvasti.

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Explore integrative medicine at HonorHealth or schedule an appointment with a doctor.

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