Integrative medicine in general is a partnership between the patient and the practitioner in the healing process. It is a philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative medicine uncritically. Integrative medicine uses a combination of appropriate conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response. And it tends to use natural, less invasive interventions whenever possible. We focus on broad concepts to promote health and the prevention of illness as well as treating disease.
What is Integrative Gynecology?
Women’s health is the branch of medicine which studies and treats conditions of the female body, particularly the reproductive system.
Integrative Gynecology blends the highly specialized medical and surgical training of Obstetrics and Gynecology with the more holistic and complementary approach of Integrative Medicine to give the best care to women.
The integrative approach is a holistic framework that emphasizes these key points:
- Acknowledge and honor the whole person: mind, body, and spirit
- Establish a therapeutic partnership between doctor and patient
- Maintain wellness instead of just treating disease once it develops
- Recognize nutrition as the cornerstone of wellness
- Embrace all healing modalities and traditions that have utility:
- Food as medicine
- Herbal medicine
- Manual therapies
- Mind-body practices
- Functional Medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Practice medicine that has research to support safety and efficacy
- Always try the gentlest, least invasive therapies first
The goal of women’s integrative health is to treat the whole woman rather than individual symptoms or diseases. Because so many factors contribute to women’s health concerns in different stages of life, our approach cares for the body, mind, and spirit of women of all ages. The focus is on finding and treating the “root” cause of a problem, rather than solely treating surface-level symptoms.
Why Integrative Gynecology?
Integrative health offers the best of both worlds, combining the best medical practices of both modern and natural medicine. It can approach all aspects of women’s health, treat the whole woman and get to the root of her problem. The treatment plans typically involve nutritional interventions, lifestyle changes, stress management, exercise, weight loss if appropriate, herbal medicines, supplements if needed. It may still need the use of hormones, antibiotics, medicines, recommend surgery when needed.
The benefit of being trained in herbs and supplements is how they interact with each other. Herbs and supplements can interact with medicines in both harmful and beneficial ways.
With a range of available treatments, you will receive optimal care, specialized for your particular needs.
How Does it Compare with Traditional Gynecology?
The traditional gynecological services offered may include pap smears, breast exams, routine wellness exams, ultrasound, and prescription medicine (when necessary). Practitioners of integrative health tend to avoid surgical procedures as much as possible, unless absolutely necessary for healing.
Usually, non-invasive procedures and treatments are offered. These include a variety of effective natural solutions, such as nutritional supplements, essential oils, herbs, acupuncture, nutrition, and massage therapy.
As an integrative medical method, there is an emphasis on treating connected health concerns and assessing susceptibility to chronic conditions outside the scope of women’s reproductive health. It goes beyond gynecology; it treats the whole woman.
How Women's Integrative Health Benefits You
Women’s Integrative Health has a number of benefits which extend beyond traditional gynecology.
In the first place, an integrative health practitioner’s primary concern is understanding the individual needs and wishes of the patient. There is always an emphasis on listening to and educating the patient so that she understands her condition and the best methods of treatment.
In modern medicine, there are often cases where the doctor fails to explain health conditions or procedures, or makes decisions without the patient’s full knowledge. This does not happen in holistic medicine because the practitioner develops trusting relationships with her patients. After the session, patients will have full knowledge of their health and any treatments before beginning them. In this way, the patient receives the best care tailored to her needs and comfort level.
How Effective is Women's Integrative Health?
Women’s Integrative health treatments have been shown to be effective in treating PCOS, PMS, menopause, irregular periods, infertility, endocrine disorders, sexual pain and discomfort, depression and anxiety, ovarian cysts, osteoporosis, UTI’s, painful periods, hot flashes, pain with intercourse, headaches, overall wellness and weight gain.
Your integrative health practitioner will educate you on the benefits of natural birth versus cesarean deliveries, the pros and cons of anesthetics, and ways to manage pain during childbirth. She will also discuss natural and chemical ways of preventing or delaying conception, so that you can make the choice that is best for you.