Dr. Erica: How do I identify if there isn’t an integrative healthcare clinic near me? That is the question I will answer in this next video. But first, my name is Dr. Erica Steele. I am a holistic doctor in family practice. I’m also trained in integrative Healthcare. Welcome to my channel. I’d love to discuss this topic with you if you have never been here.
So without further ado, integrative Healthcare. So what is that exactly? It’s really when we integrate. The whole individual. A lot of times, the individual will have allopathic medical training. They’ll be a medical doctor and an osteopathic doctor, and they’re now integrating complementary health services such as mind-body practices, nutrition, and supplementation.
Even some advanced lab testing. They don’t have to be an MD or a DO to be able to practice integrative health. And in fact, I’m a naturopathic doctor practicing integrative health, and I’ll tell you a little more about that shortly. Integrative health combines all of these different modalities.
A lot of times, it’s e evidence-based, but not. We use all sorts of different modalities to help. A modality is massage or homeopaths or supplements, or mind-body techniques. Those are all particular modalities. Think of modality as a tool. So we use these tools, and then we take these tools, and depending on what the patient needs, we provide that.
And Often, there’s no standardization or integrative health, so various providers can practice it. For example, as I mentioned, some MDs or DOS can practice integrative health, but some chiropractors, acupuncturists, and naturopathic medical doctors can practice integrative health.
And then also, I’m a naturopath, so I also practice. So they don’t have to be doctors, either. Even massage therapists and reiki practitioners. So bodyworkers, physical therapists, and providers can integrate into our traditional healthcare system. And so we don’t have to be alternative providers.
And so alternative is choosing one over the other, and integrative Healthcare integrates the two, which is why I love utilizing integrative health because I’m looking at the patient. And the patient’s priorities and what the patient needs first and foremost. And so as I’m assessing a patient’s case, if I hear something and I go, you know what?
I think that you need medication, a look by a specialist, or surgery or a procedure; I’m going to refer that patient. So even if it’s outside of, let’s say, my scope of practice, I’m gonna guide that patient to an individual with that scope of practice and then work collaboratively with that individual.
It’s not an us against them paradigm. It actually integrates these two worlds in natural medicine. We’re trained in many different modalities that allopathic doctors need to be trained in, so it’s a more significant leap, I think, for an allopathic provider to integrate into Natural healthcare sciences because they’re not accustomed to it.
They don’t have any baseline training in it, so they really have to go and do a CU class. Get further education to understand how they can look at that patient and integrate more naturally occurring substances into their practices or modalities. Cuz it’s not always just about giving a pill to a patient.
And in fact, I don’t often just give pills to patients. We really want to help people get to the root cause. And sometimes, those root causes can be mental, emotional, physical, and even ancestral. There are so many different components that we’ll talk about when we talk more about Healthcare. So why is integrative medicine so needed and integrative Healthcare so required?
It’s because people are complex. Human beings are complicated. They’re not just single entities. So it’s always going to be one thing. It’s going to take a lot of work to correct. Especially if you’re dealing with people that have had long-term health issues, they’ve had lifestyle challenges, they’ve tried this, they’ve tried that, and they haven’t really gotten the access to good nutrition or nutrition education, or even learning how to deal with their emotional body and process their traumas.
If you do that work, eating healthy and eating well becomes easier. It really works for the patient because the patient becomes. The central focus of the care is that we can provide that patient precisely what they need. We’re able to advocate for them. I often contact allopathic providers when working with a case, and I will get on the phone and hear their perspective of where that patient is.
And then, I will provide my perspective on where that patient is. And then, we work alongside each other and help with the patient’s care. Sometimes, in an instance, let’s say a patient has an aggressive, fast-growing cancer, right? I’m not gonna take that risk for that patient to suggest that there’s something natural that can slow that process down because there are benefits versus risks and treatments that we all look at.
And so when we’re looking at the benefit versus risk, we may need to reach across the aisle, and we may need to look at some of the more traditional treatments to slow the tumor down, either through surgery. Or radiation or chemo. And often, people think that as a natural healthcare providers, we are anti-anything in the allopathic world.
And that is just a misnomer we must dispel because it harms people. Not all doctors are wrong. I hear that a lot. I don’t trust doctors. I don’t trust doctors. The doctor’s role is to educate the patient. First, to be objective and then to provide the patient the information, and then the patient gets to choose from there.
It’s not our role as providers to sway, pressure, coerce, and bully patients into treatment. That’s malpractice. Instead, we are designed to provide our patients with informed consent. So we are prepared to inform our patients of the benefit versus risks, and then it is up to them to make a decision that will be powerful for them.
And we have to respect our patients’ decisions regarding their Healthcare. So I think integrative Healthcare is vital. However, it’s also important to know that only some providers hanging a shingle out are trained in integrative Healthcare. They’re not necessarily trained in the various modalities and natural Healthcare.
So when looking for a provider, ensure they have specialized training in whatever modalities you’re interested in. If they do make a recommendation, ask them why they’re making that recommendation. My name is Dr. Eric Castile. Thank you so much for tuning in.
I look forward to educating you even more as the month goes on.