Integrative Medicine refers to a philosophy of care that blends the best of “high-tech” conventional cares such as medication, physical therapies, and medical procedures with more natural, less invasive “high-touch” approaches such as massage, relaxation training, acupressure, aromatherapy, nutritional changes, and other so-called “complementary and alternative” medical approaches (also called “CAM”). Other important aspects of an integrative medicine approach include supporting the body’s natural healing capacities and also teaching self-care skills to all patients whenever possible.
My focus in this blog will be to provide you with latest, high-quality information on best practices in integrative care for lots of common problems, including medical issues such as cancer, chronic pain, sleep problems, asthma, and gastrointestinal complaints as well as non-drug, holistic approaches to emotional/behavioral challenges such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.
There is a large amount of information available – some helpful, some not.
Also, there are some alternative treatments that are just plain dangerous. One of my goals is to help health care consumers understand the balance of risk-to-benefit for a given therapeutic option, state clearly what it is we know (or don’t know) about efficacy, and then support families in making a truly informed choice. We know that you – the healthcare consumers, parents and kids – are using CAM therapies in very large numbers but are not always comfortable talking about them with your doctor. I hope to change that.
In terms of my background, I am board-certified as a developmental/behavioral pediatrician and have extensive additional training in mind/body techniques (biofeedback and hypnosis), holistic therapies, nutrition, and lifestyle approaches. I enjoy working with a whole team of specially trained people to create the best plan for each child/teen we see.
I have always been particularly interested in helping my patients to create self-care “toolkits” as a way to help them in managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety-or whatever- and we are doing some really cool research in this area to show that what we do really works! I have two teenage children on whom I have “experimented” with a lot of interesting techniques over the years and I am happy to report they are doing well in spite of it! I have written four books for kids about learning self-care skills and just completed a textbook for clinicians titled “Integrative Pediatrics.”
I spoke on Fox 9 about the book and integrative medicine a few months ago:
I also hope to provide an occasional perspective on preventative care and wellness for kids and families. Issues such as emotional health, stress management, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, over-scheduling, healthy nutrition and changing social and cultural norms all are important to discuss as we rethink our healthcare system and our individual health care practices and goals. As part of this area, I also hope to occasionally provide information for kids and teens in appropriate (and entertaining) language to inform them about new therapies and to encourage them get involved in their own health care decisions and health promoting activities.
I welcome the opportunity to begin what should be an enlightening series of dialogues. What topics would you like me to blog about? Leave a comment below.