First of all, let's differentiate between Integrative Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Integrative Medicine is "a philosophy of care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences affecting a person’s health."
Alternative Medicine is when a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine.
CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
The Defining Principles of Integrative Medicine:
- The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
- All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration.
- The care addresses the whole person, including body, mind, and spirit in the context of community.
- Providers use all appropriate healing sciences to facilitate the body's innate healing response.
- Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
- Because good medicine is based in good science, integrative medicine is inquiry-driven and open to new models of care.
- Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
- The care is individualized to best address the person’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
- Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.
Specific Injury Massage
- Specific Injury techniques may be employed, including Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial Release Bodywork, Deep Tissue, Chinese Cupping, Far Infrared (FIR) Therapy, and Jin Shin Do® Bodymind Acupressure® to alleviate pain, eliminate knots, adhesions and scar tissue in order to restore biomechanics, optimize movement and improve performance and joint flexibility
- Highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility; utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (such as Dry Needling, Kinesio Taping®, Electric Stimulation, Ultrasound), assistive devices, and patient education and training
- Increasingly popular over the last 5-10 years and generally performed by a Physical Therapist in certain qualified states, dry needling uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle to stimulate and release "active" trigger points, restore mobility, and improve range of motion
- Pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger, CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams - about the weight of a nickel - practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system
- Works by learning to gain control over normally involuntary functions such as heart rate, muscle movement and coordination and used to treat chronic pain, injuries, and more. Electrodes are attached to your skin or finger sensors are used so you many fine-tune and control different body functions and relax certain muscles, often incorporating deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation (alternately tightening and then relaxing different muscle groups), guided imagery, and mindfulness meditation
- Addresses symptoms related to many vestibular (inner ear/balance) disorders, including vertigo, dizziness, visual disturbance, imbalance, and sometimes nausea and/or vomiting, reduced ability to focus or concentrate, and fatigue. Vestibular rehabilitation (VR), or vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a specialized exercise-based program primarily designed to reduce vertigo and dizziness, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls; patients are seen by a licensed physical or occupational therapist with advanced post-graduate training
- Originating in ancient China, acupuncture is a complementary form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are inserted into certain acupuncture points, or acupoints along meridians to reestablish energy or qi in the body, correct imbalances in the body's internal organ system, treat musculoskeletal injuries and various medical conditions. By stimulating the body's own natural healing abilities, acupuncture promotes physical and emotional well-being
- Originating in 1895, chiropractic therapy decreases pain by mobilizing joints in the spine though manipulations, commonly referred to as adjustments; an adjustment occurs when force is applied to a joint in order to increase mobility and change the alignment of bones in the body
- Originally developed by Ida Rolf, Rolfing® is a method of soft tissue manipulation and movement education designed to balance your body by releasing tension, strain, and fascial restrictions. Rolfing moves beyond symptomatic relief by focusing on whole body alignment for long-term and sustainable change
- Developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine, Somatic Experiencing® is a body-oriented approach to healing trauma, shock, PTSD, and other stress disorders; an excellent adjunct effectively used by bodywork therapists, psychotherapists, physical and occupational therapists
- Initiated by George J. Goodheart, Jr., a Michigan Chiropractor in 1964; also known as biomechanics, AK is the study of body movement and combines muscle strength testing with principles of Chinese medicine to identify and correct imbalances in the body's structural, chemical, and mental/emotional energy systems; performed by osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, naturopaths, bodywork therapists and even dentists
- A form of bodywork used to prevent injuries, help athletes recover from injury, and maintain optimal performance with pre-event, post-event, and maintenance massage therapy sessions; increases blood flow and nutrients to muscles while reducing scar tissue formation, increasing flexibility and range of motion, and maximizing athletic performance
- Meaning "finger pressure", a form of Japanese bodywork using kneading, pressing, soothing, tapping, and stretching techniques and performed without oils through light, comfortable clothing to relieve stress, treat pain and illness, and correct body and energy imbalances; addresses the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being
- An ancient healing system developed by renowned physician and yogi Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha, Thai yoga massage combines acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures to relieve muscular tension, improve circulation, boost the immune system, and balance the body energetically; uses no oils, takes place on the floor on a cushioned mat and you remain fully clothed throughout the treatment
- A traditional, alternative Chinese medicine technique incorporating skin "scraping" to stimulate new oxygenated blood flow to the surface by breaking up adhesions in the tissue, getting rid of stagnant energy, reducing inflammation and promoting healing; short or long strokes are employed by a practitioner to the skin with a smooth-edged instrument known as a gua sha massage tool, which could be made from bone, jade, stone, stainless steel, or plastic
- A group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India; breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures are incorporated to enhance energy flow and stimulate the body's natural healing process, aiding in recovery from injury by strengthening weakened muscles and stretching hypertonic, or tight, ones
"Integrative Medicine: A Movement Whose Time Has Come." The Bravewell Collaborative.
"What is CranioSacral Therapy?" Upledger Institute International.
"Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)." Veda: Life Rebalanced.
Photo Credit. "Stones". Visualhunt.com
Photo Credit. "Heart Stethoscope". Pexels.com
Photo credit: Dorausch, Michael. planetc1 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA
Photo Credit. Ensey, Chris. "Flowers in Buddha Hands." Unsplash.com