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Before we get into the ramifications of the website and Integrative Medicine Centre we would like to explain a little of our philosophy and interest at serving you. We are primarily concerned with health care of you, your friends and family. What we are about to introduce you to may be old or new to some of you but, either way it is vitally important to you at this time.

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Integrative Medicine

During the past decade or more, the American public’s interest in alternative health care has skyrocketed. The evidence for this trend is abundant in the media, in the growing number of popular books on “health and wellness” and nontraditional therapies for the ailing body. It is also seen in the billions of dollars spent each year on nutrients and herbs.
The magnitude of this trend was highlighted a few years ago in a report, in the New England Journal of Medicine by David Eisenberg, MD, of Harvard Medical School. Eisenberg estimates that Americans made approximately 425 million visits to alternative medicine providers during 1992 and expenditures associated with these therapies were comparable to non-reimbursed expenses incurred for all hospitalizations in America.
The growth in the use of alternative health care has been accompanied by more subtle changes in the attitudes of both patients and physicians. Though still widely used, by many physicians that are not satisfied with the term “alternative,” “Integrative medicine” has superseded the term “alternative medicine.” Many who work in the healthcare field feel that the term alternative reinforces the old and divisive concept between medicine and nontraditional practice methods being used by traditional western physicians.
For the most part, unconventional therapies in the United States are offered by licensed physicians or other credentialed healthcare practitioners like Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Acupuncturist, Homeopaths and Naturopaths who believe in the therapies they offer, who are not charging excessive fees for treatment, and who are treating patients of above-average education and income. Further, these patients are likely to be more serious in exploring their choices than the average patient. The majority of these patients want to be under the care of a mainstream physician that understands and works with unconventional physicians. These unconventional physicians have become known by the term, “Integrative or Preventive” healthcare providers.

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Resources and credentials

The great majority of these complementary practitioners want to work under the umbrella of “medicine” yet, let the public know they are providing a service that is not a part of traditional medicine and that we are independent of medical control. For example, the DMD (doctor of dentistry) is now providing nutritional counseling for their patients. The EdD (doctor of Education) and PHD (doctor of Philosophy) are heavy into sports medicine and sports nutrition. The DO (doctor of Osteopathy), DPM (doctor of Podiatry) and the DC (doctor of Chiropractic) are now on the staff at many hospitals and traditional clinics with MD’s. The NMD (doctor of Naturopathy) is beginning to have an impact on the Integrative medicine scene. Until recently NMD’s have been ostracized by traditional medicine. Now that natural medicine has become more favorable with the general public in place of drugs, naturopathy is back in vogue as a health care practice. In a recent national publication Newsweek, Acupuncture was named the most sought after nontraditional practice by the new health consumer. It looks like we are moving toward the next descriptor in the 21st century healthcare practice… Integrative medicine. In this regard lets take a look at the next apprehension that is foremost in your mind.

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Choosing a practitioner

The aging population and rapid communication are typical examples of what is bringing practitioners together in this new termed ‘integrative medicine.’ Common problems that all practitioners face regardless of specialty, traditional or nontraditional, have brought them together.
Most people know hospitals and medical centers are the place to take care of trauma and acute illness. However, they also know the hospital and the pharmacy are not the place to find ‘health care.’ How does a consumer of health services interested in exploring integrative medicine make sense of it all? The new move is for all types of doctors to work together in an effort to provide the best care and service possible for the patient.
Integrative medicine is practiced to perfection in China and most of the Orient for the benefit of the multitude of people. Integrative patient care seems to have spilled over to the rest of the world’s physicians. Integrative and complementary practices are now the emphasis around the globe. Doctors in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South America, Canada and now the United States are combining services for the benefit of the patient.
Word of mouth seems to be a highly accepted method of selecting a physician. Ask friends and relatives what their experience has been with a particular practitioner. Most will be more than happy to let you know. With the exception of insurance most people go where they feel comfortable. Insurance companies limitations sometimes seem to be the greatest barrier to selecting a practitioner and dictate where you are “covered,” thus limiting the available number of practitioners that you may select. Traditional, Alternative, Complementary and Integrative care are viable and all have their role in the health care market place. Practitioners just want to be identified and utilized correctly.

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