Living in Ontario its fairly easy to access your family doctor when symptoms arise. Infection is treated with antibiotics, heartburn is treated with an antacid and pain with anti-inflammatory.
Sounds great, but when things get more complicated there is usually a referral to a specialist. Whether it be a gastroenterologist for irritable bowel syndrome, or a cardiologist for atrial fibrillation, the family doctor does his due diligence to send the patient to the “expert.”
Now I don’t disagree that interventions need to take place where there is an acute traumatic injury, infection, or severe distress. However, when it comes to chronic disease, do you really want to contract out the care of your different body parts to different professionals?
The idea behind integrative health care is that a practitioner is trained to look at all aspects of ones health, and more specifically, looking for patterns of symptoms that point towards understanding the underlying reasons for the chronic conditions.
An integrative practitioner understands that your mind cannot be separated from your gut, and that you heart cannot be separated from your lungs. So we treat accordingly.
An essential aspect of this integration is addressing psychological, social and spiritual issues that the client is experiencing. We understand very well that the majority of chronic diseases are stress-induced, and exacerbated by stress, so we strive to provide a comprehensive, seamless approach to treating people, and not diseases.
Often complimentary and alternative therapies are included in the plan of care, and this is to ensure that the least invasive and toxic options are considered first. The only thing worse then getting sick, is getting sicker from the treatments provided.
As president of the Canadian Holistic Nurses Association, I strive to empower all nurses across Canada to think and practice as integrative professionals. We are decades behind the healthcare being provided in the US, but we’re getting there.
Get yourself the best team out there 🙂