You’ve probably heard about Internal Medicine; whether you’ve been to the hospital and saw it written on a lab coat or department sign, or just watched a hospital-based show, you’re probably already familiar with the term. If not, Internal Medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of adult diseases.
Western or Traditional Internal Medicine
As an Internist, doctors can choose to be a General Internist and treat all types of internal medicine issues, or they can go into a more specific niche and sub-specialize in areas such as Gastroenterology, Endocrinology or Rheumatology.
If you’re a patient at Bliss Wellness Center, you have most likely already seen a specialist in Internal Medicine, most likely a Rheumatologist, Endocrinologist or Gastroenterologist. So you know how they work: a discussion about your medical complaint, review of labs and appropriate guidance on lab findings and next steps, whether that’s a watch-and-see, pharmaceutical prescription or an a-ok, nothing’s wrong.
Natural Internal Medicine
Where I come in as a Natural Medicine Internist, is that I help people who may already have a diagnosis, though many do not yet, and work with them to implement lifestyle changes they need to make to improve their condition. And, given the situation and diagnosis, usually add natural therapies (such as Stress Management/Mindfulness, Nutrition therapy and Acupuncture) to facilitate healing and balancing the body.
My area of talent lies in knowing what levers to pull so that we get, or move towards getting, health improvements in a safe and effective manner. That’s not to say that you’d come off of any medications you’re currently on, Natural Internal Medicine provides another layer of healing.
Natural Internal Medicine, also referred to as Functional Medicine is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach to health care that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a patient’s health. I call it the 360 degree approach to health and healing.
How Does Natural Internal Medicine Treat Patients
The philosophy of Natural Internal Medicine centers on the personalization of healthcare. The relationship between patient and practitioner is integral to the success of the outcome.
As a patient-centered model, I thoroughly review your health, lifestyle and medical history (including labs), to understand the underlying causes and contributing factors of your condition. Thereafter, I create a customized treatment plan to improve how your body functions allowing you to function and feel better.
In conventional/Western Internal Medicine, they view the body’s organs as separate parts that require distinct treatment. Thus, there’s a specialist for each part of the body.
In Natural Internal Medicine, the body is seen as a collective of interconnected body systems. To treat a certain part of the body, all other parts must also be considered.
As I always tell new patients, there are no fences in the body, so we must consider all aspects of the body and how you feel. Usually, there are multiple factors at play contributing to you feeling badly.
Why I think Natural Internal Medicine is so effective, is that we’re getting to the core of the issues and correcting and nourishing the body so it operates at its best, allowing you to feel better, and often pretty quickly after beginning treatment.
Natural Internal Medicine in Holistic, in that it doesn’t rule out medications or surgeries — it is integrative. Whatever it takes to get you feeling better, fast. Essentially, it still leverages conventional tools when and if necessary; but the work should start with nutrition, diet, behavior modifications, natural supplements and herbal medicine.
Two Internal Medicine Approach Comparisons
Western Internal Medicine is often thought of as a disease management model, as it isn’t centered on healthcare and improving one’s health to stay in good condition; it focuses on managing your disease or poor health condition once it has already taken place. Symptom suppression with prescribed drugs is a common method used.
Natural Internal Medicine, on the other hand, optimizes wellness through thorough consultations aimed at getting to the root cause(s) of why you’re not feeling well. Then we implement medical Acupuncture, assist the body with nutrition supplements and herbal medication, and design preventive and restorative lifestyle strategies help the body to operate how it’s supposed to so healing and health correction takes place.
We often find that once you complete your treatment program, that you know how to maintain the health that you’ve regained. Once you’re feeling better, you won’t want to ever return to how you used to feel! You’ll guard your health like the prize that it really is.
For More Assistance
If you have an ongoing medical problem and want to get to the root of the issue, contact us for a brief consultation. We’ll let you know if we could help you.
At any time during your care, we’ll refer out to or work with your other specialists, if that’s needed to help you get better. So you can always trust that you’ll get the best of both western and natural medical care. You don’t have to choose between traditional medical care and holistic or natural care, they can work really well together.