A Case for the Integrative Medicine Approach | Center for Integrative Medicine, Aventura, Miami, Fl

A Case for the Integrative Medicine Approach

Today I want to share a successful story of one patient of mine and how integrative approach to health is far superior to the traditional Western medicine or alternative therapies.


I successfully treated this lovely lady for some musculoskeletal pain in the past. This time she came in to introduce her husband, who suffered from back pain.  I guess seeing that I am helping him with some other things besides pain, she wanted to share with me another problem that has been bothering her. While husband was getting acupuncture, we spoke at length about her runs with anxiety and depression. I was a bit surprised to hear that because she's always smiling , always positive and cheerful. And she confirmed that , she said it was very unlike her to get depressed,  but it happened, It was very unlike her to be anxious and yet it happened. She went for treatments. She went to a holistic alternative practitioner who diagnosed some toxicity and some  energy imbalances,  which might or might not be there, but certainly were not the reason, as even with his treatments for those problems her symptoms remain the same.  


 She then went to a Western medical doctor, who prescribed her a strong antidepressant. It seemed to help, but only for a while and then dose had to be upped and then again,  so now she is on a pretty high dosage of that medication. She is feeling better with it. No matter how helpful this medication is, it is not without side effects and probably what is  even more important for her it does not resolve the problem. She feels better on it, but what would happen if she stopped taking it?


So what can I do for her in an integrative setting? I practice a lot of so-called alternative therapies such as herbs and acupuncture. And that would be certainly a very helpful and for sure much more safe than the medication. Plus it would work with her body to stimulate the production of serotonin, which the medication was artificially increasing it by blocking the body's natural processes.  So yes that would be a very good solution.


But not the best. And we only want what's the best for our patients. Why not the best? Because it might take a while to work,  so it will take time, patience and financial resources to go strictly alternative way. And even though I'm confident I would be able to help more than that holistic cleansing could have, but still the question of time remains. So, in addition to my alternative approach, I used my knowledge of Western medicine and endocrinology to look at the case from that standpoint. I've prescribed a very extensive hormone test as I suspected hormonal imbalance played a large role in her condition. This is a far more detailed test then regular internist or even endocrinologist would prescribe.


I look at it  from a functional standpoint meaning the relations between different hormones and her symptoms. My clinical evaluation was now supported by objective science. 


And now we have a root cause of her problem. So instead of just replacing medication with a safer natural alternatives, we can use natural treatments in a much more targeted  way. We will use herbs and nutritional supplements to directly address her hormonal I'm balances. We also will be using acupuncture not only to improve her mood, but to support the function of endocrine system. What does it mean for the patient? Only two, but very important things :


  • one she will feel much better much sooner than with any other treatment option approach.
  • two she can continue feeling better without being in the treatment forever.


Yes and one more thing, since her symptoms were mental and emotional, it was extremely important for her to see that there is a specific objective reason for her feeling that way. It gave her a tremendous sense of control right away before we even started any treatments whatsoever.


This is  what the advantage with the integrative approach to treatment really means.  We do not just offer alternative treatments, we find the underlying reasons first and then target the treatments whether conventional or alternative,  to address these underlying causes. That is the reason for the great results we can have with difficult health problems.