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 both live with and work to heal from your condition. By looking at a patient through a variety of lenses, we’re able to heal with both conventional (aka pharmaceuticals) and complementary (aka lifestyle) treatments.
Conventional treatments for pain often involve physical therapy, surgery and medications to relieve pain or control inflammation. Unfortunately, as you may already know, the latter two options in particular can come with some very serious side effects. While these forms of treatment are sometimes necessary, the goal is to find the root cause of your symptoms, so that you can identify strategies that help you recover from your condition with minimal impact on your daily life. This is where both complementary medicine and neuroscience-based approaches can be particularly helpful, especially if you’ve found minimal relief from conventional treatments.
Mind/Body Medicine combines a range of behavioral and lifestyle interventions with traditional psychological interventions. Based on the latest research on chronic symptoms and the brain, this revolutionary approach understands that the brain can affect the immune system, increase or even cause pain, and shows us how our behaviors, thoughts and emotions can affect our bodies. This is the basis of the Mayv Program. Common themes in Mind/Body Medicine 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 Mind/Body Medicine techniques include:
- -Mindfulness & Meditation
- -Changing the brain through learned experience
- -Building our capacity to feel and express emotions safely
- -Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
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 immobility. Treatments can vary in intensity and incorporate other elements such as heat and aromatherapy to enhance relief:
- – Physical therapy
- – Massage therapy
- – Acupuncture
- – Osteopathic manipulation
- – Chiropractic therapy
- – Myofascial tools
- – Trigger point therapy
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 and find the natural remedies to complement your journey with chronic pain. 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!
- – Anti-inflammatory diet
- – Mediterranean diet
- – Elimination diet
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