Integrative Medicine for Endometriosis – 5 Things to Know

integrative medicine

Medicine of an integrative nature aims to bridge the gap between complementary medicine and conventional medicine in a coordinated way in order to support one’s health from every angle of a person’s life.

Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice or intented to diagnose, treat or otherwise provide healthcare services. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional for diagnosis, treatment and healthcare.

What is Integrative Medicine?

Medicine with an integrative approach is a term you may not have heard as much as holistic medicine or alternative medicine. As the name implies, this type of healthcare involves the integration of multiple modalities in order to help the body rebalance and heal. It may incorporate both traditional health care (such as medication, surgery, physical therapy, etc.) along with nutritional and supplemental supports, precision exercise programs, psychotherapy and mindset support etc.

It reaffirms the relationship between the practitioner and the patient in order to focus on the whole person, not just one symptom or problem.

This practice takes the full picture of a person’s biological processes and working as gently and succintly as possible to help the body heal on its own, and using various pathways towards healing as needed.

Due to people’s many and varied chronic health challenges, more and more are seeking support in ways that are gentle and practical, but specific to one’s own physiology instead of a one-pill-fits-all approach.

What are the 4 pillars of integrative medium of healing?

Let’s take a look at the four pillars this care method for a second to get a deeper understanding of integrative health.

The four pillars are:

  • Relationship – This includes one’s social supports
  • Diet and lifestyle – This includes diet, nutrition, rest and exercise
  • Healthy environment – An environment free of toxins
  • Detoxification – Your body’s ability to remove toxins from your internal body

What does this show us about integrative practices? The approach of integrative care looks deep into all aspects of a person’s life and says these areas are important to optimize in some cases for promoting health, vitality and healing. It can often be compared to lifestyle medicine in some cases. Yet, it does not necessarily exlude allopathic medicine or physiological approaches to healing body systems, but takes a person’s whole landscape into account when treating.

Evidence based health care

Integrative healthcare is based in evidence based research. It wants to find the root cause of whatever the problem is and work to heal the imbalance causing systemic health issues. It uses cutting edge research, diagnostics and treatments that have been shown in research to provide positive benefits towards healing while integrating these modalities with the care plans of one’s primary care physician (if the person has one or several specialists).

The Difference Between Holistic, Alternative and Integrative

Now, what role does Complementary and Alternative Medicine play with Integrative Health? Complementary and Alternative Medicine (known by some as CAM) focuses solely on alternative medicine for healing. However, the Integrative Approach takes both CAM into account as well as conventional medicine where either makes the most sense.

What is integrative medicine vs holistic medicine?

Holistic medicine typically works to help ones symtomatology improve and can help one get to the root cause of their health issues, but may at times exclude conventional healthcare. The integrative model helps the patient navigate their best treatment and lifestyle options often in collaboration with one’s general practitioner (GP) or primary care practitioner (PCP).

5 Ways Integrative Practices Can Assist Endometriosis Healing

Now, endometriosis is a complex inflammatory condition with auto-immune like similarities. Chances are, if you are reading this you are looking for ways to help manage this and learn as much as you can to feel your best.

Integrative healthcare can help regulate the following systems which each have an impact on endometriosis in the body:

In other words, an integrative or functional medicine approach looks at the systems of the body that are dysregulated in order to integrate physiologic systems healing with social-emotional-spiritual aspects of healing.

If you read this post, you’ll see how endometriosis affects each of these physiological systems and needs to be brought back into balance in order to promote healing. Here are some additional concrete ways to heal biological systems dealing with endometriosis in integrative healthcare

Examples of Integrative Practices

Some examples of integrative practices may include acupunture, pelvic floor physical therapy, nutritional therapy, movement therapy (similar to physical therapy), massage therapy, journaling, and other lifestyle practices promoting researched-backed health.

An integrative medicine center can provide additional research on the scope of modalities recommended for healing. One example is the Duke Integrative Medicine Center.

Conclusion

Integrative medicine allows for a deep dive into ones biological processes that serves as a compliment to alternative and conventional medicine. It considers the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology and lifestyle. For women with endometriosis it can allow for the development of individualized, patient-centered treatment plans targeting the root cause of the disease.

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