Today’s world is all about choices. There are now so many choices we have to make everyday that separating them can be tedious. Day after day we all make decisions that determine the overall state of our health. Something you may not know is that you have as many choices regarding your healthcare as you do when deciding what kind of chips to buy at the grocery store (have you noticed that there are millions of different chips?!) When you buy a bag of chips it's okay to make a bad decision. If you make a bad decision when shopping for health care, it might not be okay.
It seems that a fair amount of people know the meaning of the terms preventative medicine, alternative, holistic and integrated, but what are they really? How do they differ? Preventative medicine simply means it aims at treating the disease before it begins or becomes chronic. Western medicine, or what is called allopathic medicine, is our mainstream medical system and the textbook definition is the, “Use of pharmacologically active agents (prescription meds) or physical interventions, such as surgery, to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions.” Allopathic medicine excels in emergency medicine, such as trauma, and now doctors are seeing the importance of catching a disease before it begins and using more preventative medical techniques. A lot of times people feel they cant afford to have the ‘luxury’ of a massage or acupuncture treatment. However, it could potentially save you from suffering long-term effects down the road and thousands of dollars in treatments. Government and insurance companies can help when serious medical incidents occur, but taking care of yourself day by day depends on your daily decisions. Knowing as much about health as possible puts you a big step ahead to feeling happy and healthy!
Another thing to keep in mind about health is that most diseases and imbalances don’t get better overnight. Just as heart disease or digestive disturbances didn’t just one day appear, equally they will not suddenly disappear. This is a misconstrued fantasy many have about their health. Your body is a garden. If you water it, give it light and love it, it will grow! If the leaves start to wilt, don’t dump a gallon of water into the soil all at once. Gently, over time, water the garden the necessary amount to nurse it back to health. Treat your body like new seedlings that are growing. Being unaware of both what you put into your body and what you do to your body and mind long-term can ‘wilt your leaves,’ so to speak. With a nurturing tactic, alternative therapies, including acupuncture, can work wonders. Often times, terminology can be a bit ambiguous and confusing, especially when it comes to alternative medicine. We live in a time where medicine has come further along than ever before!
What is… Integrative medicine? To weave together two facets of medicine. For example: Treating both the body and mind together. Or to treat from both a Western and Eastern perspective. Integrating the best of two or more therapies.
Alternative medicine? Alternative refers to anything that’s not mainstream or allopathic. This includes therapies such as acupuncture, Chinese medicine (eastern herbal therapy and other modalities), massage, naturopathy, chiropractic, reiki, ayurvedic and natural products such as herbs and vitamins.
Holistic medicine? The perspective that ‘everything is interconnected,’ and treating the body as a whole. Acupuncture definitely falls under this. Just like a bicycle cannot function without its front tire, holistic medicine believes the body is a machine that works in harmonious tandem with each other’s systems.
Functional medicine? This is a new branded term to encompass an up-andcoming treatment style that combines Chinese medicine and western medicine. This includes the use of acupuncture; herbal therapy; nutrition; modalities such as cupping, moxibustion and electro-stimulation; routine lab analysis of blood tests and the understanding of the biochemistry and pathology of western diseases.
At my clinic, I strive to provide unmatched health service and customer care. I practice Medical Acupuncture in conjunction with Functional Medicine. For more information please explore my website or contact me!
My motto: Everyone deserves good health, a mind at peace and plenty of choices!
Dr. Christina Fick (DAOM)