by Dr. Allen Gee
Integrative health care isn’t an alternative to allopathic or western medicine – medicines and surgeries have their place. In fact, they are very relevant most of the time. But historically, just treating the disease doesn’t impact the disease nor the overall health of the patient to the degree that it should. Perhaps this is why the United States spends more money on health care and has less success than many other countries.
Rather than pursue an alternative – western medicine OR something else – I believe in the integrative approach, where we take the best of the eastern philosophies of health care, which takes care of the whole person, and treat the “landscape” of the person.
- Get good quality sleep, which helps the body reset its internal balance, or the homeostasis. Homeostasis is a balance. The body – through numerous feedback loops and constant monitoring – works very hard to create a healthy balance in the environment where the organ systems function in the body. Eastern medicine is very good with taking care of this “landscape”.
- Gentle movements, of the oriental arts.
- The meditations, the mindfulness, the awareness of how our thoughts can impact the physiology.
- The diet that’s followed in the Mediterranean is healthier than the western diet in regulating the internal environment and the mind.
By integrating the sleep, the movement, the mindfulness, and the nutrition with western allopathic medicine, we can decrease the need for disease intervention, we can improve the quality of life, we can increase the ability to treat addictions, and we can improve the happiness of the person. Studies also show that we can improve our satisfaction with our lives, our work productivity, and our general sense of well-being by addressing the concerns and the whole patient.