Integrative Medicine and the Wheel of Health
When discussing Chinese medicine, the word ‘holistic’ comes up a lot, indicating that the focus is on caring for the whole human being. Traditionally, Western medicine has been divided by so many specialists. The perception is that the patient will always come second to profit. More than ever before, participants in the American healthcare system are looking for alternatives to the conventional model. In their search for the equivalent to holistic care, they have discovered integrative medicine.
What is integrative medicine?
All appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines combine to form a practice of medicine known as integrative medicine. The desired result is optimal health and healing. There is little to no distinction between state-of-the-art treatments and older, less conventional systems and therapies, as long as the job gets done. The focus is not on the disease. It is on the patient.
With integrative medicine, the relationship between practitioner and patient is key. Both physical and nonphysical factors are taken into consideration. Psychological, social and spiritual dimensions all play a part, along with the physical. The individual components of integrative medicine cannot exist in a vacuum.
What is the Wheel of Health?
Duke Integrative Medicine, which is part of the Duke University Health System, developed a guide to integrative medicine and health planning, known as the Wheel of Health. The graphic represents the primary elements of optimum health. It is comprised of three concentric circles. They are:
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of staying alert to all states of being: physical, mental, social and spiritual. It is awareness without judgment. This enables a person to recognize symptoms as they emerge, which is the best time to treat them. All other elements are based on this. It is the critical core of well-being.
- Self- care: Your involvement in your own care is crucial. This is what patient-centered care truly means. If you want to improve or maintain good health, you must develop proactive strategies and explore the dynamic interplay of all the ways you can care for yourself.
- Professional care: Self-care does not take the place of professional care. It complements it. Just as a professional should expect a patient’s commitment to treatment, the patient should expect the professional’s as well.
Where does acupuncture fit in?
Earlier, we mentioned alternative to the conventional model. Acupuncture is unquestionably one of the most popular alternatives to conventional medicine. In terms of integrative medicine, however, it is not really an alternative but simply another component of your healthcare. Acupuncture has proven most successful in relieving pain, stress, anxiety, and nausea. Other specific but related conditions treated by acupuncture include asthma, menstrual cramps and osteoarthritis. To learn more about our acupuncture services, click here.
My journey began in Western medicine, as a registered nurse, continued through training in Eastern medicine’s natural and holistic therapies, and culminated with the integrative approach to health and wellness I currently love and enjoy practicing. Please feel free to contact us here at NJ Natural Family Health and share your story with me.
New Jersey Natural Family Health offers unique natural healthcare strategies that will address both recent health issues and chronic disease. Dr. Shannon DiCarlo RN LAc DAOM utilizes her nursing background with her extensive experience in Chinese Medicine to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through acupuncture, Chinese Medicine therapies, and an on-site herbal dispensary, Dr.DiCarlo can restore true health to the body, mind, and spirit. Please call (973) 650-8053 or visit in-person at 366 Passaic Ave, Nutley or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.