When a new female patient enters my office, I meet a woman who wishes to take ownership of her health by seeking alternative methods of treatment or a plan of treatment complimentary to the Western regimen she is currently receiving. As I listen to her concerns I am also made aware of the fact that she, like so many women who are making medical decisions for their families, generally learns alternative medical therapies from the media, friends and family. They are inundated by information steeped in medical jargon that perpetuates their subconscious fears and influences the course of direction they choose as they approach medical interventions. The amazing news is there is a shift and alternative medicine and conventional medicine are actually melding together to become complimentary medicine.
Women who seek out alternative therapies are looking to remedy many diagnoses, discover adjunct therapies that will further the progress of their western plan of care, or determine alternative methods of treatment. As an acupuncture physician, I treat patients utilizing the Integrative Medicine Model, offering plans of care including, but not limited to acupuncture treatments by needles, micro current and /or laser, cupping, lifestyle and nutritional counseling, nutraceutical /supplements and fact based education. I seek to “bridge the gap” between classic Western medical protocol ; working hand in hand with Western professionals to develop a course of treatment approached from the center and oriented to embrace body, mind and spirit.
I have found that using an integrative treatment plan inclusive of the Western model when pursuing medicinal acupuncture can be most effective in addressing the following scenarios: symptoms of menopause and hormonal imbalances, enhancing fertility, overcoming Crohn’s disease, conquering obesity, managing pain, decreasing chemical and physical signs of ageing, boosting immune system and successfully achieving overall health and wellness as an adult woman. In children, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, are being adapted to treat chronic otitis media, stress and anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD, autism, childhood obesity, developmental delays, immune disorders, chronic pain, asthma, allergies and more. By working in concert, Western and Eastern physicians alike can effectively assist patients in overcoming these issues and can improve their patient’s quality of life exponentially by adapting their techniques and practices.
As we continue on into the 21st century, the face of modern medicine is evolving as female patients become further educated on the benefits of alternative therapies, and thusly seek out physicians who embrace both medical models to deliver a comprehensive approach to treatment. We seek evidence of this change in that acupuncture physicians are being hired by hospitals to work alongside their Western counterparts and several medical schools such as UCLA and Harvard offer an introduction to acupuncture as part of their curriculum.
As with all service industries, the adult female demographic is the audience to which physicians should be speaking. Women are the game changers. They are leading the trend for all physicians to recognize and appreciate the value integrative medicine and alternative therapies have to offer through their desire for a more holistic approach.
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