Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine operates on this promise: you are more than your condition.

Unfortunately, and in many ways through no fault of physicians, the practice of medicine has devolved into a nameless, faceless stream of patients being reduced to quickly rendered, standardized diagnoses. At the Restorative Health Clinic, we have the opportunity to be far more thorough in diagnosing and treating your issue, and we don’t stop at “close enough.”

Integrated medicine incorporates elements from both natural and orthodox medicine to create comprehensive and multidimensional diagnostic and treatment plans. This multimodality approach is an absolute requirement for the successful treatment of Chronic Disease Conditions. The reason for this is, many body systems are affected and that calls for a total body approach to restore healthful function. Prescribing drugs to help control symptoms is only the first step toward stabilization but is by no means adequate as a long term strategy to return to health.

Naturopathic doctors who hold a state medical license and provide primary care for patients (in Oregon and twelve other states) are a prime example of vitalistic integrated medicine providers. These physicians use a whole-personal health focused approach. Their emphasis is on restoring health and wellness through sound scientific treatments. These include prescription drugs to help with symptom control and patient stabilization, as well as focused patterns of nutrition to restore organ and body vitality and function.

Integrated medicine has its focus on health and healing rather than disease and procedural treatments. It views patients as whole people with minds and spirits as well as bodies and includes these dimensions in the diagnosis and treatment. It also requires patients and doctors to work together to maintain health by paying attention to lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, quality of rest and sleep, and the nature of interpersonal relationships.

The awareness cultivated by integrated medicine practitioners results in a drastically different consultation process. This process focuses on the whole person and works to help doctors identify the different pieces of the health puzzle and place them together. Integrated medicine is not about teaching doctors to use herbs instead of drugs, it is a philosophy of inclusion and openness; the openness to use modern day biochemistry and medical science while at the same time studying and addressing the dynamic aspects of the illness.

Integrated treatment protocols require active patient participation because its not just about taking pills, it is about caring for the whole body, mind, and spirit through lifestyle changes and through the doctor honoring a whole-personal bio-psychosocial perspective. Research shows that the consultation process and holistic approach adopted by practitioners of complementary medicine make patients feel more in control of their illness and of the recovery process – patients have choices in the type of treatments and modalities used and also the pace of the restorative effort.

Integrated medicine restores core values which have been eroded away by social and economic forces. It is good, wholesome medicine and we have every hope and intension for the effective integrated medicine of today to become the mainstream medicine of the future.