What is Integrative Medicine?
Very simply, the best of both worlds: complementary medicine meets conventional medicine.
Conventional medicine typically involves treatment strategies that focus on symptom suppression primarily through the use of prescription drugs. Patient visits are brief, usually 5-10 minutes, limiting the amount of information the doctor can collect to derive a diagnosis and treatment plan. In contrast, complementary medicine often involves long patient visits to allow sufficient time to gather the information needed for a holistic view of a patient’s physical and psychological well-being. Treatment strategies, however, are usually biased toward natural remedies, even if they are not the optimal or the most appropriate therapeutic strategy.
At Cascade Integrative Medicine, we bridge the gap between these two disparate medical philosophies to provide patients, first and foremost, with the best treatment possible, using both complementary and conventional medicine approaches. Patient visits are longer (up to one hour) and comprehensive, in which information about emotional and physical health, habits, lifestyle, and family dynamics is collected and reviewed. Moreover, a diagnosis may be withheld until additional diagnostic work has been performed such as a determination of serum nutrient and hormone levels. All therapeutic options, both conventional and complementary, are considered when a treatment strategy is devised. The doctors at Cascade Integrative Medicine understand that treatment plans must be achievable in order to be effective. For example, it is not reasonable to suggest to a strict vegan that the best way to correct an iron deficiency is to eat red meat. Treatment plans are the result of a dialog between doctor and patient to define a strategy that is both optimally effective and one that the patient can comply with and feel good about.
Integrative Medicine, Collaborative Care
At Cascade Integrative Medicine, we take the term “integrative” even one step further. Integrative medicine also describes collaborative care patients often receive from our providers. It is not uncommon for a treatment plan to include, for example, medical treatment as well as a nutritional overhaul. In cases like this, our doctors and nutritionists will work together to co-manage patients, and in doing so, leverage the collective expertise of our providers to deliver truly comprehensive patient care.
All treatment strategies are possible at Cascade Integrative Medicine because our doctors have received extensive training in both conventional medicine as well as herbal medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, counseling and physical medicine.