Dr. Erica: Have you ever asked the question, does integrative medicine actually work? My name is Dr. Erica Steele. I’m a holistic doctor in family practice. I hold six degrees in my field and am a board-certified naturopathic doctor. And I love teaching about integrative healthcare, especially concerning many things like chronic diseases.
Chronic diseases, unfortunately, are on the rise. I think, gosh, I don’t even have a statistic. I could pull something out of my brain, but right now, we know that chronic diseases are on the rise, and so many people are suffering on and on. So many debilitating conditions. And so they’re really, people are really looking for answers and solutions to help.
And integrative medicine is the beginning of the evolution of our healthcare system. Many years ago, far before I was born, many different types of doctors existed. There were allopathic doctors, there were naturopathic doctors, there were homeopathic doctors, there were chiropractors. And they all really shared in this philosophy of service and giving to other people, and they really wanted to help heal fast, for fast forward till now, lots of things have changed, and lots of investments have been made.
I won’t go into all of those pieces in this particular video. However, it’s essential to know. History of healthcare and how our healthcare system has unfortunately turned into a sick care system. And so my goal and my mission is really to help people understand how these things work. And so integrative healthcare uses data to track a patient’s progress.
So a patient will come in, and we will listen and assess the case. Then I’ll typically run some lab panels. I can run a basic lab panel. And or I’ll run more advanced functional lab panels. Once I get that data back, I educate the patient about what it means and lay out a treatment plan for them.
I often will use other tools to measure things such as body composition, or I’ll use biofeedback to assess, or I’ll use Thera, which evaluates the bioenergetic system. So I use all of these different diagnostics. Upwards 350 data points, both subjective, which is what the patient tells us, and objective, something outside of me and the patient so that we can measure and track the progress.
And that’s how we know it actually works. So it’s so we get both. We get subjective; the patients are filling. So different things out that are clinically useful questionnaires and whatnot so that we can understand and track the progress from a personal standpoint. And then, we use the data like labs or some of the other diagnostics we were talking about to determine if the numbers have changed.
And so if we are doing our part, meaning me as. The provider is educating the patient appropriately and prioritizing the care properly, and the patient is doing their part and walking through a process step by step. The patient is designed to improve as time passes because they’re learning more.
They’re learning from their mistakes; they’re learning what to do. They’re learning how to heal by following directions. So often, patients will come into my practice, and they. So many things to deal with, and they just throw it all on my desk. And my role is to prioritize things, right? So as an example, if a patient comes in.
They’re stressed out at work. They’re stressed out at home. They are not prioritizing themselves. They have unhealed emotional trauma from the past. They have poor eating habits. I can’t tackle all of those things all at once. So the first thing is really getting their mindset into a different place.
I have to get their buy-in that they can heal, especially if they’ve been to many other doctors who’ve had to tell them otherwise. And they’ve, A lot of times when I get patients, they’ve been to every doctor underneath the sun, they’ve been told, oh, we don’t know. We don’t know. Everything’s.
My labs look good, my labs look fine, et cetera. So by the time they get to my practice, they’re very frustrated, disheartened they don’t trust doctors, and they’re almost like, arms crossed, I dare you to help me. And so, we have a big hurdle to overcome in the beginning regarding trust.
And so I really appreciate the bravery of so many different people who come into my practice and have been through those journeys. And if you’re watching. Been on a similar journey. It’s actually more common than you may think, unfortunately. And so that just exhibits how broken our healthcare system is and how we need a change from the inside out.
And so when we’re working with integrative health, we need to make sure that it’s not just about evidence-based. I know that is a catchphrase, and we do look to studies to help guide us, but unfortunately, There are just not enough studies out there to justify care, and when I have a patient sitting in front of me, I really need real-time data.
And there are so many different variables in studies. I’m not gonna get into that in this particular video. I am gonna say that we take data on the individual in real-time and assume that data on the individual in real-time gives us the power to make those decisions far faster.
Then let’s say waiting for a more extensive clinical study. I’m hoping in the future, we can get more clinical studies that are fair and balanced and actually give a holistic view of things rather than some of the biased studies that we have today. And The patient has to buy in and adapt to the care plan, meaning they have to do their part.
I tend to work with people with a history of trauma or mental illness like anxiety, depression, et cetera. So we wanna make sure. That they’re not overwhelmed. And so we really go over a lot of information in the beginning. A lot of times, it’s new information. Biochemistry can be very complex in the front when you first hear it, especially if it contradicts what you’ve been told.
My labs are OK. My labs are OK. And then I look at them and show where those imbalances are. Number one, it’s very validating, but number two, it can be a little overwhelming for people and somewhat shocking. And so there’s a process of grief that has to happen because you knew something was not off, was off, and something just didn’t feel good.
And now, this validates it for you, and you see it in real-time. So now you’re responsible for the information, which is a whole nother can of worms that’s opening. So we work with people step by step. We go over everything. I tell people, OK, we’ve got a giant map of the United States.
We’re in Virginia. We need to drive to California. So what are we gonna do? We’re gonna get on 2 64; we’re gonna take the 58. We’re gonna, I won’t go through all the interstates cuz I, I’ll get lost, however, without my g p s. And so I am very much that g for my patients. And so, my job is to guide them step by step and prioritize things in a straightforward and efficient process.
And so, they may only sometimes understand the process, and then they get a little frustrated, mainly because my goal is to educate the patient. So that the patient integrates this into a lifestyle. So eventually, they don’t need me anymore. So they leave, we, I release them back out into the wild, and they can fully function and connect and embody the information we have provided them.
And so it’s a really fantastic ex. Experience as we go through that process and see how patients adapt, heal, and get well. And it’s just such a phenomenal journey that we go through, and I’m very excited to see that witness that it is incredibly gratifying. And so, if you are even the most petite bed curious.
If holistic or integrative healthcare is proper for you, I encourage you. We offer a complimentary 15-minute consultation, and I will chat with just about anybody about holistic health because that is my passion in life. If you’ve taken nothing from this, just know that integrative healthcare does work if you work it. Still, it also works if you have the data to prove it.
My name is Dr. Erica Steele. Thank you for tuning in. Please share and subscribe to this video and comment below if you have any other questions.