Also known as ‘complimentary care‘, ’comprehensive care’, and ‘coordinated care’, ‘integrative care’; has been sweeping the globe as our combined medical communities focus in on greater coordination between various therapies and practitioners. This allows for the integration of care providers and more importantly for the patients to receive greater possibilities of therapies in an aligned, integrated care system.
The below paragraph is an excerpt taken from the original article Integrative Medicine and Patient Centered Care, EXPLORE September/October 2009, Vol. 5, No. 5, 277-289 which envisioned what Integrative Care could be:
“A vision for a new kind of healthcare is emerging. It is patient-centered, healing oriented, and embraces conventional and complementary therapies. This medicine has become known as integrative medicine. Driven initially by consumer demand, it is now increasingly being accepted by healthcare providers and institutions. Definitions abound, but the commonalities are a reaffirmation of the importance of the therapeutic relationship, a focus on the whole person and lifestyle – not just the physical body, a renewed attention to healing, and a willingness to use all appropriate therapeutic approaches whether they originate in conventional or alternative medicine.”
Integrative Care considers the patient as a full partner in the process of their health care, beginning with the decision process about their health and treatments, and continuing with their active participation of their health programs. Whether the patient has arrived to handle a specific health problem, to generally improve the quality of their health, or to prevent illness they will be consulted about available therapies and participation in their health care in order to achieve their health goals.
In Chiropractic Integrative Care, a patient can be referred for chiropractic care from their primary treating physician, who is familiar with and understands chiropractic techniques and how it can benefit their patient. By the same token, chiropractors can refer a patient to a medical doctor, should they need additional care or additional medical testing.
The Role of the Chiropractor in Integrative Care
Regarding Chiropractic Integrative Care Dr. Dean Greenwood, in his article “Better by Degrees – Enhancing the DC’s role through advanced practice programs,“ states:
“The chiropractic profession has evolved significantly over the past few decades and has gained support from the public, and from medical and other health-care practitioners. Research initiatives, improved standards of education and an emphasis on evidence-based practices are solidifying the role of the chiropractor as an integral part of the health-care team in Canada and in many other countries around the world. . .
“The emphasis clinically is still spine and related structures, but there is a theme of conservative, integrative care that must be considered in the management of patients during the delivery of chiropractic services. It is incumbent on the chiropractor to have a greater understanding of co-existing disease processes and evidence-based management to provide patients with effective, timely, safe and appropriate care or advice when confronted with a serious or complicated health complaint.”
Choosing Chiropractic Integrative Care
If you are experiencing pain, neck or back problems, headaches, weakness or pain in the limbs, or nerve disorders, a chiropractor can help you to correct the non-optimum condition. Using treatments which are well researched and documented for their efficacy without side effects, such as vitamin supplements and other gentle healing modalities, Chiropractic Integrative Care can help you achieve your health goals.
As you are a full partner in Chiropractic Integrative Care, all therapies and health care suggestions will be thoroughly explained to you. And as a full partner it is possible that your practitioner may ask you to make changes to your lifestyle in order to increase the quality of your health, which can be done via diet, nutritional supplements and a regular exercise program.
As the mainstream medical world moves more fully into treating the whole person/patient with the goal of helping them to achieve full health and function restoration, having an integrated and coordinated approach of therapies and practitioners readily available becomes an enormous benefit to the patient.
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