SIU Medicine is home to the only integrative medicine doctor in the greater Springfield area. Integrative medicine combines “regular” biomedical care with evidence-based therapies from outside the typical realm of what we commonly think of as “medicine.” Examples of this include: acupuncture, botanical and herbal medicine, supplements and nutraceuticals, laser therapies, cupping, manual manipulation, bioenergetic work, and other whole body systems of medicine (like traditional Chinese/Asian medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy, etc.).

What is unique about integrative medicine is the combination of “regular” medicine with these other modalities. Because integrative medicine practitioners view their patients from multiple perspectives, integrative care is an excellent complement to your medical care options and can truly enhance a patient’s experience and facilitate health.

Through integrative medicine, these three tactics may improve your quality of life.

1. Integrative Medicine looks at the whole person

Like fellow family medicine and internal medicine doctors, our integrative medicine team evaluates patients’ concerns by asking questions about their entire well-being, not just the issue bringing them into the office. Our integrative medicine physician is an MD with three Master’s degrees, including full certification as a licensed acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner (LAc, DNCCAOM). She has extensive experience in culinary medicine and use of food as medicine, in mind-body medicine, and in treatment of chronic problems like women’s/men’s health issues, diabetes, heart issues, depression and anxiety, digestive problems, and acute or chronic pain.

By identifying and modifying these influential elements, our integrative medicine doctor is able to deliver care that is explicitly customized to meet the needs of each patient. The result? Improved and more efficient outcomes for you. Because integrative medicine creates a unique partnership between doctor and patient, patients also feel more empowered to care for themselves!

2. Integrative Medicine offers more than "just" symptom management

If you suffer from a chronic disease, you deserve customized treatment that can help you live better and maintain a satisfying, engaging, and productive life. Integrative medicine looks at disease differently and often helps with symptom management, in collaboration with your primary care physician.

Another unique aspect of integrative medicine is that it focuses on prevention of future problems and the identification of factors contributing to disease. By explaining to patients how they can make lifestyle, dietary, and exercise changes tailored to their individual needs, integrative medicine can help patients to prevent additional health problems from surfacing. Appointments with an integrative medicine doctor have more time allotted than a typical visit, and so more time can be spent listening to the patient and creating a tailored approach in partnership with the patient.

3. Food as medicine

Every year, more and more research comes out to support the idea that "food is medicine." Specializing in culinary medicine, SIU’s integrative medicine doctor uses food as a way to avoid disease and maximize gut health in patients. Using a scientific and practical approach to food, cooking, and nutrition, the doctor helps patients identify and correct nutritional insufficiencies that impact everything from hormonal balances to the immune system. 

Preventing disease and improving your health span and lifespan helps you maximize your contribution to your community and allows you to get the most out of your career, relationships, self-confidence, finances, and more.

If you have a growing interest in holistic techniques that enhance the body's natural ability to self-heal, click here to request an appointment at SIU Medicine, the area leader in integrative medicine.

Topics: Integrative Medicine, Holistic Techniques