We often get asked, “What is integrative medicine?”. It’s a good question, especially with the variety of practices focused on improving patient health. Having practiced in a more conventional medical setting for most of his career, Dr. Brad Abrahamson, after much research and seeing the benefits to patients, made the choice to move to an integrated approach. 

What is integrative medicine?

Whereas conventional medicine tends to focus on pharmaceuticals, integrative medicine takes a step back and works to understand the overall patient. A kinder approach, integrative medicine works to accept patient health care preferences as well as understanding the underlying causes of illness or injury. This allows for an improved treatment protocol and one that may not involve pharmaceuticals at all. Instead, as the doctor works to understand the patient’s current lifestyle, recommendations on diet, exercise, sleep and more may be the first course of action. Often times, lifestyle changes can make huge improvements in a patient’s overall health.

Does that mean no medications?

Depending on a patient’s condition, Dr. Abrahamson may prescribe a conventional treatment that includes prescription medications. However, Integrative medicine often finds therapies that do not require pharmaceuticals.  There is more focus on less-invasive treatments and addressing the underlying cause.  But remember, he works with the patient to understand that patient’s unique case and there has to be evidence in favor of all treatment plans.

The Integrative Medicine Principles

Dr. Andrew Weil, often viewed as the father of integrative medicine, offers a number of defining principles of integrative medicine on his website. They are:

  • The patient and his/her provider become partners in the healing process
  • The mind, the spirit, a patient’s community, as well as their body are taken into consideration when working to create a wellness plan for the patient.
  • Appropriate use of alternative and conventional methods facilitate the body’s own healing response.
  • Whenever possible, effective interventions that are natural and less invasive should be used. 
  • Good medicine is based on good science and is driven by inquiry. It is also open to new paradigms.
  • Broader concepts like health promotion and the prevention of illness work alongside the concept of treatment. 
  • Providers of integrative medicine should exemplify its principles committing themselves to self-exploration and self-development.

Talk to us

We’re always happy to discuss our approach and answer questions. Dr. Abrahamson sees the benefits in this approach each day. Please contact us, we’d love to talk.