What Is Integrative Medicine? Principles and How Chiropractic Fits In

Integrative medicine is all about treating the whole patient, finding the underlying cause rather than looking just at the symptoms, and incorporating a variety of treatment methods, including conventional and alternative, to achieve optimal health for every patient.

Chiropractic is an essential component of the integrative medicine philosophy, harnessing the science and art of maintaining optimal health through the careful manipulation of the spine and joints to restore nerve function.

So, what principles are integrative medicine founded on, and how does chiropractic fit into the comprehensive medical philosophy? Below, we’re breaking down the nine key principles and explaining the role of chiropractic in whole-patient health.

Integrative Medicine Principles

Integrative medicine is philosophically guided by these principles:

  • Combination of Conventional and Alternative Methods – Using both conventional medicines such as medication as well as alternative methods, such as traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, massage therapy, or chiropractic.
  • Embrace Lifestyle Changes and Self-Care as Treatment Options – Using effective treatment options that involve education, lifestyle changes, and improved self-care.
  • Relies On All Scientifically Valid Healing Modalities –  Integrating the use of all scientifically valid treatment modalities to continuously improve care.
  • Treating the Cause, Not the Symptoms – Treating more than just symptoms alone with preference to searching for the underlying cause to naturally enhance each person’s immune systems and innate healing abilities.
  • Incorporate Evidence-Based, Natural Intervention – Using less invasive interventions that are evidence-based and natural as part of the hierarchy of treatment.
  • Patient/Physician Trust – Creating a relationship where the patient is empowered and educated, forging a strong trust between patient and provider.
  • Illness as a Manifestation of Holistic Dysfunction – Viewing illness not as an isolated event, but a sign of dysfunction of the whole person.
  • Partnership with Providers – Working together with all scientifically-based healthcare providers to create synergistic healing.
  • Optimal Health as the Goal – Aiming for more than just the absence of sickness, but rather the highest levels of mental, physical, emotional, environmental, and social health.

Chiropractic and Integrative Medicine

Chiropractic care is often part of a patient’s holistic integrative medicine treatment plan as it helps patients achieve optimal levels of health through restoring natural nerve function. Integrative or functional medicine philosophies naturally support the treatments and philosophies of chiropractic care, helping practitioners maximize their resources to treat patients.

Many chiropractors offer integrative medicine treatment options in addition to traditional spinal manipulation services. At Sea Change Wellness, that includes massage therapy, and skin care services. Other chiropractic offices may also offer options like acupuncture, lifestyle interventions, or nutritional counseling.

Using this kind of integrated approach helps chiropractors treat common injuries and illnesses that patients often struggle with, like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.

A chiropractor may also refer their patients to other practitioners for complementary treatments to maximize health. They may have a network of trusted acupuncturists, physical therapists, or nutritionists that they use to serve their patients’ best interests.

Integrative Chiropractic Care at Sea Change Wellness

We’re proud to provide chiropractic care based on integrative medicine principles at Sea Change Wellness and hope our approach offers a more holistic treatment plan than most patients get from a conventional MD.

As the patient, you play an active role in your integrative medicine treatment, working together with your chiropractor to eliminate pain, improve performance, and optimize health through a variety of methods including spinal manipulation, massage therapy, and diet and lifestyle changes.

If you’re interested in taking a more integrated, holistic approach to your health and wellness, schedule an appointment at Sea Change Wellness in St. Petersburg, FL, with one of our expert chiropractors today.

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