What is integrative medicine?
Renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine Dr. Andrew Weil has defined the specialty as as:
“Healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.”
Dr. Weil has further clarified the principles of integrative medicine, which are foundational to the work done at IIT:
- The connection between the patient and their practitioner is vitally important, an equal partnership in the healing process, each bringing their unique knowledge and insight
- Both conventional and alternative methods may be used when appropriate to facilitate the body’s intrinsic ability to heal and grow stronger
- All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are considered, including the body, mind and spirit, as well as the community and environment with which we live
- Dedication to consider all options based on their merits, neither accepting alternative therapies nor rejecting conventional medicine uncritically
- High quality medicine requires commitment to good science, with dedication to ask questions, challenge even long-standing beliefs and to be open to a shift in paradigm
- When possible, use of natural, effective, less invasive, lower risk interventions
- Emphasis on promotion of health and prevention of illness, in addition to treatment of disease
- Commitment to the importance of self exploration and development when training practitioners to be models of health, wellbeing and healing
Integrative medicine aims to support you on your path toward gaining insight into your body, learning strategies that you can use to improve your quality of life right now, managing or reversing the course of existing injury and disease as well as reducing your risk of disease in the future. We focus on finding a balance in navigating factors that affect health and well-being, including sleep, relationships with food and substances, physical activity and movement, relationship to others and the community, and the effects of stress on the body.
Who can benefit from integrative medicine?
Most people can benefit from integrative medicine, regardless of whether you have struggled with serious health concerns or not, or if you simply want to do everything possible to avoid health concerns in the future. Anyone who wants to get the most out of life is a good candidate. Our aim is to provide rock-solid, evidence-backed guidance to assist each patient to develop lifestyle habits, skills and insight that help maintain a high quality of life and optimal function, drawing upon cutting-edge insight from the fields of integrative and lifestyle medicine, as well as longevity science.
People with long-lasting or complex health problems may find integrative medicine especially useful, providing unique insight and options that are frequently left unexplored in conventional medical visits. We are adept in the management of a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including pain, musculoskeletal and joint problems, digestive disorders, fatigue, sleep problems, pre-diabetes and diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental, emotional and cognitive issues, and many others.
Integrative medicine practitioners do not replace your primary care provider or specialists, but rather act as a consultant and collaborator within your healthcare team, providing holistic guidance to help you heal your mind, body and spirit. Integrative medicine should be used alongside your regular medical treatments. It is our aim to promote lifestyle changes and therapies that are safe, natural, effective and minimally invasive, guided by your unique insight into what works best in your life and your practitioner’s expertise in the practice of medicine.
What services are provided in Integrative Medicine at IIT?
A wide range of evidence-based interventions may be utilized, which focus on:
- Food as medicine
- Dietary supplements and botanicals
- Exercise, activity and mindful movement
- Functional fitness
- Stress management and resiliency
- Mind-body strategies
- Guidance on healthy habits, behaviors and environmental factors affecting sleep
- Non-judgmental, harm-reduction approach to substance use
- Positive psychology
- Motivational interviewing
- Biometric testing
Additionally, we offer wellness health coaching in collaboration with our physician.