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New to Integrative medicine

Integrative medicine is being adopted more and more by leading hospitals and clinics around the world. While conventional medicine (think: doctors and pharmaceuticals) focuses on treating symptoms, an integrative treatment process combines conventional with complementary medicine to heal the patient as a whole person, not just their isolated condition. Mayv shares tips on how to manage chronic pain naturally.

Integrative medicine looks at the patient’s entire lifestyle from nutrition and exercise, to mental health and environment in order to support holistic healing.

Mindful woman using a holistic approach to chronic pain.

Why taking a holistic approach is important for chronic conditions?

Integrative medicine looks at you as a whole person to nurture your mind, body and soul as you live with this disease. By looking at a patient through a variety of lenses, we’re able to holistically heal with both conventional (aka pharmaceuticals) and complementary (aka lifestyle) treatments.

Conventional medicines for joint pain aim to control inflammation, but often come with the very serious side effects of suppressing your immune system. While these meds are necessary, the goal is to find a strategy that helps you manage your condition with minimal impact on your daily life. Complementary and natural remedies for chronic pain can help mitigate these side effects and keep inflammation at bay.

Integrative Interventions

01

Mind/Body Medicine

Mind/Body Medicine (M/BM for short) combines a range of behavioral and lifestyle interventions with traditional medical interventions. This revolutionary approach shows that the mind can affect the immune system via the autonomic nervous system. Common themes in M/BM are self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-care strategies to manage wellness and health. The patient is understood as a totality of body, mind, and spirit, and interventions are directed holistically at each of these facets of a person. Examples of M/BM techniques include:

Techniques include

  • – Mindfulness & meditation
  • – Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • – Yoga
  • – Tai Chi
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02

Manual Medicine

Manual medicine refers to hands-on therapy and includes gentle joint stretching or mobilization to improve joint mobility and muscle dysfunction in the spine (or adjacent structures) based on the concept that joint restriction contributes to pain. Manual treatments are administered by certified clinicians using physical pressure and stimulation on the body to alleviate pain and improve emobility. Treatments can vary in intensity and incorporate other elements such as heat and aromatherapy to enhance relief:

Techniques include

  • – Mindfulness & meditation
  • – Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • – Yoga & Tai Chi
  • – Osteopathic manipulation
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03

Nutritional Tools

Your gut is the center of your immune system and often called “your second brain”. Food can be your ally by helping keep inflammation in check, but different foods can also affect your condition by triggering symptoms. It’s important to work with your doctor, a dietitian, naturopath, or nutritionist to make sure you’re staying well-nourished. Below are a few regimens that have been shown to help heart health, inflammation and overall well-being. Always remember, a diet is just a way of eating, not a way to lose weight!

Common Diets

  • – Anti-inflammatory diet
  • – Mediterranean diet
  • – Elimination diet