Wednesday, August 24, 2005

In Search of the Holy Grail - Integrative Medicine

After publishing my list of the channels for this blog and the upcoming podcast, I will now explore each channel in detail.
The Holistic Health channel takes a look at my everyday focus - making holistic health the number one healthcare system in North America.
This might seem like an arduous goal, but to me it's a very worthy one. Hundreds of thousands of patients die every year at the hands of Western medical doctors, and we desperately need a better alternative.
Holistic health is that alternative.
Another word used in conjunction with holistic health is "integrative medicine." This newer term refers to the integration between modalities like Chinese medicine (acupuncture, etc.), herbs, yoga, massage therapy, etc. into the Western model.
I have seen clinics where there is a central practitioners, perhaps an MD, who sees patients coming in and treats them, as well as referring them to other practitioners, maybe massage therapists, nutrionists, yoga teachers, etc.
However, the central practitioner, or MD in this case, sees every problem through their "MD eyes" and usually will refer out whenever his MD model can't handle a patient's issues. So, in effect, its a situation where it's "Western medicine first, then others." However, Western medicine might not always be the first, best choice. Maybe the patient needs to start with a nutritionist, then do some bodywork, and proceed to the MD afterward.
This problem remains no matter who the central practitioner is - chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist, bodyworker, etc. They will always see each patient through the eyes of their own modality FIRST, then refer out whatever doesn't work.
An even more prevalent model is the landlord-tenant model. Here the practitioners simply share the rent and occasionally refer out to each other. The "integrativeness" is minimal in this situation.
So, we pursue the Holy Grail of Integrative Medicine. How can we achieve it? I don't exactly know yet, but I'm going to explore it in this blog and in the upcoming podcast.

1 comment:

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