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Integrative Medicine - The Future of Medicine - NOW!

By: Dr. Virgilio Sanchez

Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine is the MOST advanced form of medicine, which is currently available today. It is an intelligent combination of conventional medicine with alternative medicine to help patients achieve optimal health and wellness.

It seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated-interconnected system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by specific diseases or medical specialties. It treats the whole person, focusing on true health and healing, not just the symptoms. It will most likely be the standard method of treating patients in the future of medicine.

The true power of Integrative medicine comes from the fact that it is based on a philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative medicine uncritically, because both have strengths and weaknesses. In fact, not any one method of practicing medicine has all the answers. Integrative medicine evaluates all treatments and healing modalities on the basis of their proven effectiveness and safety. It allows a physician to expand his or her "tool box" recognizing that most diseases have multiple causes and thus multiple methods of treatment should be considered and made available for patients in order for them to truly achieve optimal health and wellness. Good effective medicine should always be based on solid science, inquiry-driven and open to new effective paradigms.

Mind - Body - Spirit = Wellness

How Integrative Medicine Works

For example, if someone is diagnosed with hypertension, it doesn't mean you know what's really wrong with you! Currently, doctors are trained to believe that all people with the same diagnosis are basically the same. They end up treating the NAME of a disease - not the CAUSE. The truth is, everyone is different, even people with the same diagnosis. Take a group of patients with the same condition of hypertension; they all could have very different causes for being hypertensive such as: Chronic dehydration, excessive tobacco, alcohol or caffeine use, obesity, lack of sleep, mineral deficiencies such as low magnesium or potassium intake, wheat allergy, omega 3 deficiency, elevated fibrinogen level, elevated uric acid, hormonal imbalance, consuming too much monosodium glutamate (MSG), eating too much fructose or refined carbohydrates, heavy metal intoxication, excessive stress, emotional trauma, etc.

So, if you go to your doctor, and they discover you have high blood pressure, most likely you will end up with an anti-hypertensive medication. But still, you may not know what exactly caused your elevated blood pressure. Treating the symptom, high blood pressure, without addressing the root cause, is not true healing. Patients deserve a more complete explanation!


Getting to the Root of the Problem

Integrative medicine does exactly that, seeking to identify and address the root causes of disease. Addressing both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors, using specific individualized methods through nutrition, diet, and exercise; using the latest knowledge of bio-molecular science, using advanced laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and then use the information gathered to prescribed combinations of drugs and/or natural botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Imagine if you stepped on a nail? How would you treat this pain? The most reasonable answer is that you'd take the nail out of your foot. Most people wouldn't just keep taking painkiller until it felt better. Unfortunately, that's how most conventional doctors treat diseases!

An Example:t If you have high blood pressure, you're given an anti-hypertensive medication, if you have high cholesterol, you take a statin, if you are depressed, you take an anti-depressant and so on... You can take all the medication you want, which usually just masks your symptoms, but doesn't treat the underlying problems. You may feel better for a while - but the disease keeps progressing. If you do not address all the root causes, you most likely will never attain true optimal health: continuing to depend on medications can potentially have long term negative side effects.

Patient & Doctor

The Big Picture

INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE practitioners usually spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. A great deal of emphasis is on preventative medicine and treatments that will have positive long-term effects on your health. In this way, integrative medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual. It is critical to understand that we all have individual unique needs due to our unique genetic makeup, nutrition and lifestyles etc.

Unfortunately, the reality is that there's a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous-as long as 40 to 50 years! Especially in the area of complex, chronic disease.

Integrative medicine physicians seek to narrow that gap and to offer cutting edge treatments to their patients without having to wait for traditional medicine to catch up.

Integrative medicine is the new frontier. At MCCI we are constantly striving to provide the best that is offered in the field of medicine.

The content on this website is for informative purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any symptoms or illnesses. Should you have any health related questions, you should contact your health care provider.

About the Author

Dr. Virgilio Sanchez photo Dr. Virgilio Sanchez

Virgilio Sanchez Jr., M.D. is Medical Director of Integrative Medicine for MCCI Medical Group. He is a graduate from the University of Miami Medical School and is a Board Certified Family Physician, Diplomate in Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine.