What is integrative medicine?
By: Dr Hema Kalan
Humans are complex creatures. When a disease state manifests, then it means that there is an underlying dysfunction, which was present for months or even years preceding that disease.
Integrative medical doctors look at treating that dysfunction aiming to reverse or prevent that very illness.
Let’s use a tree as an analogy. If your disease is a branch of a tree then it means that branch of the tree has been cut off. We can use pharmaceutical medication or herbal medication to treat that ‘branch’ (disease) but we’re doing the same thing….bandaging a broken branch.
The only way we can heal tree and the branch is to look at and nourish the roots of the tree. That is your emotional well-being, your spirituality, sexuality, work-life purpose, relationships, stress levels, diet, exercise– basically your lifestyle.
If we pay close attention to the roots we allow the entire tree to heal and flourish. We may use some supplements in the interim to speed up the healing process and whilst they play an important role to bring about balance,
we understand that a pill is not a replacement for your diet, exercise, sleep, stress management.
The importance of each root varies with each person. Some people may have the perfect diet eating organic vegetables, yet they face health challenges. These individuals may therefore need to pay more attention to their past emotional traumas, their genetic makeup or the environment they’re living in.
Using this approach results in the resolution of not just one disease but several diseases at the same time. Of course, it is far from a quick fix approach and the timeline to heal depends on the extent of lifestyle changes individuals are willing to make. Ultimately, health and the absence of disease makes every sacrifice so worthwhile. You can’t attach a price tag on longevity and quality of life. Make every choice in your life count towards health and not disease.