Why Integrative Health
Dr. Mark Hyman’s summation of Functional, or Integrative Health is SPOT ON. Integrative health aims to get to the ROOT CAUSE of symptoms (the WHY) rather than focusing on a named diagnosis and medical prescription (the WHAT).
Integrative Health offers a whole person approach to optimizing and sustaining wellness. I believe whole-heartedly in the mind-body connection, and that health cannot only be looked at one system at a time. In my roles as both a cardio-thoracic surgical RN and as a labor and delivery RN, I have cared for patients with NUMEROUS specialty physicians. I have experienced, more often times than not, ONE patient having MULTITUDE of specialty physicians treating every system of their body; a neurologist, a pulmonologist, a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, a podiatrist, an endocrinologist, an infectious disease MD, you name it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am SO very thankful for the specialty work and care these physicians are able to provide, especially in an acute situation. However, I often find their approach to long-term management one-dimensional.
Your body works together as an interconnected, holistic system, and Integrative Health believes your health care should too.
For instance, your gastroenterologist might prescribe you a proton pump inhibitor for your GI distress, but doesn’t talk to you about your antidepressant medication because that would fall under your primary care physician’s responsibility. BUT your gut health and mental health are interconnected. Another example: your cardiologist will prescribe your blood pressure medication, but won’t address the most appropriate stress reduction method for you, or your insulin adjustments because those adjustments are other physicians' specialties. But again, all of those factors work HAND IN HAND.
I do know wonderful doctors who work in an interdisciplinary manner, trying to coordinate care as best as they can with each each of their patients. However, it has been my personal experience, for the overwhelming majority of my medical career, to see specialty physicians operating independent from one another- staying in their own specialty lane. It is my belief that your health should involve looking at how your body’s system work together as opposed to deducing each system of the body as its own disconnected entity—especially when looking at prevention of disease and optimizing overall health and longevity.
Getting to the root cause of your health symptoms and finding where the imbalances and toxicities lie are essential to preventing disease and sustaining health. Individualized lifestyle education and modifications are at the core of how Integrative Health works to prevent disease and optimize wellness. I will never add shame to the need for prescription medications; however, I don’t think the medication should be the ultimate solution to the underlying problem. There is no magic pill that instantly cures the fatigue, drops the weight, or increases longevity.
We must learn how to eat as though our food is medicine, treat our mental and emotional health with the same importance as our physical health, and put as much emphasis on cultivating a supportive sense of community as we can.
Integrative Health doesn’t underestimate the power of conventional medicine; it aims to work alongside it. I take into account your collection of symptoms (the dis-ease), along with factors such as nutrition, exercise, toxin exposure, stress management, emotional balancing, and need for supplementation in order to be truly integrative in my approach to healing and wellness.
When we incorporate best practice from a conventional perspective with evidence based functional medicine, we are able to help you get well and stay well.
I believe you already possess all the power you need to begin healing. Our everyday life choices have tremendous influence over our health. As an Integrative Health Practitioner, I am client-centered rather than disease centered. I aim to work with you one-on-one to develop personalized wellness protocols that work for you and are able to be maintained by you. It’s time health care became more than just sick-care, more than just an ever-growing list of prescriptions and vague answers to your questions. Let’s address the root of your symptoms and begin healing your body at the deepest level in order for you to live truly well.
WE DO BELIEVE
In food and lifestyle as medicine
Daily movement and exercise are ABSOLUTELY necessary for optimal wellness and increasing longevity
Stress (be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual) is at the root of nearly every imbalance of the body
Toxins (environmental, nutritional, relational) are REAL
Rest is essential for the body to repair, refresh and rebuild
Emotional and mental health is every bit as important as physical health
Supplementation is necessary even in the healthiest of diets due to the overall status of our environment (poor soil quality, heavily treated water supply, lack of outdoor activity, poor sleep quality etc)
A success mindset and being a part of a supportive community is critical to your health and wellness success
WE DO NOT BELIEVE
In a one-size fits-all model
There is a magic pill to fix all of your problems
In quick fixes
Your genetics have to determine your health journey
We DO NOT diagnose, treat, or cure disease
Healthcare cannot be a one-size-fits-all model. Two people may have the same diagnosis, or group of symptoms; however, because they have different lifestyles, different stressors, different genetics, they may not heal by the same plan of care. At Ikaria Integrative Health, I aim to take the time to perform a comprehensive health assessment, understand your unique situation and work with you one-on-one to develop a personalized wellness protocol that is right for you.