If you are a man looking for an approach to medicine that puts you at the center and helps prevent aging, then integrative medicine is exactly what you need. Instead of simply addressing your problem in isolation, integrative medicine addresses your body as a whole and includes the entire spectrum of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and environmental factors at play in your health. Integrative medicine does this by taking multiple different types of treatment into consideration including conventional and alternative medicines. This integrative medicine guide will teach and help anyone looking to implement more than just the standard physician visit into their health wellness program.
What is Integrative Medicine?
If you go into integrative medicine seeking an answer for your hip pain or sore joints, it is likely you will come out feeling healthier than ever because of the way integrative medicine addresses the cause of an ailment instead of just the symptoms. As you venture into a journey involving integrative medicine you will quickly realize that it is not firmly rooted in any specific practices. Instead, integrative medicine accepts principles of both alternative medicine and conventional medicine in order to do what is best for your body.
Many men who have used integrative medicine to benefit their health describe it as a real partnership with their physician. Furthermore, integrative medicine is based upon a strong curiosity, good science, and the desire to continually find new methods of treatment. As a result of this foundation, doctors who use integrative medicine to treat their patients are never held back by the fact that something has “never been done”. Instead, they try new methods of treatment and their patients benefit as a result.
Another reason men love integrative medicine for treating their body is that the methods used by integrative medicine physicians are typically less invasive than the methods used by more traditional doctors. Therefore, physically active men who use integrative medicine are less likely to have to take time off from their health and wellness routines in order to heal.
Overall, integrative medicine is a method of health and wellness treatment that takes the patient into consideration before anything else. There are no rules, limits, or guidelines to follow with integrative medicine and no “one-size-fits-all” treatment plans for any type of ailment. Instead, integrative medicine looks at each person as an individual, considers an evaluation of their health, and then treats their bodies based upon their individual needs. For the majority of men who use integrative medicine, it is the method of treatment they have been waiting for their entire lives and a method they will use for the rest of their lives.
The truth is, integrative medicine has been around as long as man himself. From the beginning of time, specific cultures understood that in order to treat an ailment, you have to first treat the entire body. Cultures such as the Egyptians, Chinese, Indians, and even ancient Greeks and Romans all had their own versions of integrative medicine.
Centuries ago, these cultures understood that the body worked as an entire system, and if one part of the system was not functioning, the rest of the system would not either. However, as time progressed, medicine became more westernized, modern medicines were developed, and the world evolved from treating the patient to treating the illness.
Twenty-five years ago, any doctor you would have asked about integrative medicine would have looked at you like you were out of your mind. However, today the medical practice is more widely accepted and is becoming one of the most popular medical treatment methods available. According to Mayo Clinic, integrative medicine has officially become mainstream and is something everyone should take note of. Likewise, the American Board of Physicians states that they fully recognize integrative medicine as a form of medical treatment and aim to certify physicians who practice integrative medicine ethically.
Although integrative medicine is a growing and (very) popular method of medical treatment for men, there is still some confusion regarding exactly what constitutes as integrative medicine. Many men confuse integrative medicine with other forms of medical treatment such as alternative medicine and complementary medicine. These two treatment methods are both used in integrative medicine, yet they can stand on their own.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine vs. Integrative Medicine
In the medical community, Complementary and Alternative Medicine is widely known among physicians as CAM. Both complementary and alternative medicine are medical practices that have been in existence for years. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not traditionally considered a part of conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is medical practices that are used to complement conventional medical practices and Alternative medicine is medical practices that are used instead of conventional medical practices.
Individuals of all ages and backgrounds are currently using complementary and alternative medicine. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that nearly 38% of adults are using CAM methods. Some of the most popular CAM methods of medical treatment include but are not limited to acupuncture, diet therapies, Reiki, hypnosis, massage, meditation, movement therapies, breathing exercises, and natural products.
Men who use complementary and alternative methods of medicine find that the benefits they receive far outweigh any possible side-effects. Main benefits of CAM include pain relief, increased energy, better sleep, and faster healing. However, there many other benefits besides these.
When used together for medical treatment, complementary and alternative medicine create integrative medicine. Physicians who treat men using integrative medicine believe that complementary and alternative medicine practices are better used together versus when they are used on their own.
If you are a man looking for a medical practice that will treat your body, increase your energy, and slow down your aging integrative medicine should be at the top of your list.
Understanding the benefits of Integrative medicine
Integrative medicine is different than what a typical “traditional” physician would recommend. Imagine you are suffering from severe back pain (you might not have to pretend) and you make an appointment with your “traditional” primary care physician. Once you are in the office, it is likely that this doctor will look at the site of your pain, ask you a few questions, perhaps run a test to find if there is any obvious reason for the pain, and then prescribe a medication to relieve the pain. Under this method no further treatment is prescribed to truly treat the cause of the pain, only the pain itself receives treatment.
Now, imagine you are suffering from back pain and you choose to see an integrative medicine specialist. Upon entering their office you will hear a variety of questions regarding your lifestyle and the history of your pain. Your doctor will discuss with you the reasons why you might be experiencing the pain and perform tests to find exactly where the pain is coming from and what might be causing it. Then, the doctor will prescribe methods of treatment to help heal the injury or ailment at the root and to eliminate all of the pain.
As you can see, both of these medical methods relieve you (the patient) from the pain, but only one method completely eliminates and addresses the root cause of the pain. It is likely that if you visit the traditional physician you will have to go back to them time and time again to address the same issue. However, if you visit the integrative medicine physician you will only have to continue to visit them to monitor your treatment and evaluate your healing body’s progress.
Males suffering from back pain, neck pain, joint pain, arthritis, anxiety, cholesterol, head or chest cold, migraines, and insomnia have experienced success when using integrative medicine therapies to treat their conditions. Some of the integrative medicine therapies they have used include yoga, herbal remedies, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, massage, chiropractic treatment, and Ayurveda.
Would a doctor recommend integrative medicine?
If you are considering integrative medicine, you might be wondering whether or not you should see an integrative medicine specialist. The simple answer is “yes”. Although there are many traditional physicians who do not believe in the use of integrative medicine, there are plenty of well-respected physicians who do. When you choose to work with a physician who specializes in integrative medicine you are opening the door to a multitude of possibilities for your treatment and healing. Seeing an integrative medicine physician will help you to see your health in a “big picture” view, have access to more medical solutions, understand prevention practices, and participate in your health more fully.
When searching for an integrative medicine physician it is best to understand the basics of integrative medicine going into your appointment. If you do, you will be able to ask more educated questions and understand your physician’s treatment proposal better. Furthermore, if you are seeking a specific integrative medicine therapy you will want to discuss that treatment method with them up-front to be sure you understand whether or not it is an integrative medicine therapy they use.
The bottom line is, there are trusted physicians in every city that believe in and practice integrative method. In fact, many insurance plans today even include integrative medicine under their treatment options, will cover the costs of your visit (within limitations) and have a list of integrative medicine specialists you can use to find the doctor that is right for you. So, if you are feeling discouraged by a recent medical diagnosis or issue, don’t give up! Simply try integrative medicine.
Does integrative medicine really work?
Integrative medicine is a trusted treatment method that has been proven to work for men (and women) facing a wide variety of ailments and illnesses. From cancer to chronic back pain, migraines, anxiety, and everything in between integrative medicine are claimed as a life-saving practice with the power to change lives.
In a study conducted on complementary therapy and integrative medicine in lung cancer published by CHEST, integrative medicine was acknowledged as the main treatment method for many lung cancer patients. Patients in the study used a variety of integrative medicine therapies in order to relieve side-effects of other lung therapy treatments and symptoms of lung cancer itself. Those participating in the study experienced a decrease in anxiety, reduction of pain, less physical side-effects, and improved energy.
Similar to treatments used for lung cancer, evidence has been found that integrative medicine therapies are also beneficial for individuals suffering from asthma. According to an article published in Curr Allergy Asthma Rep, integrative therapies such as specific diets, breathing therapies, and dietary supplement interventions have been proven beneficial at reducing asthma symptoms among asthma patients.
In a study published by Elsevier, integrative medicine therapies such as massage therapy and acupuncture were used to treat patients experiencing anxiety. These methods along with other alternative and complementary medicine methods worked for treating the anxiety and are continuing to be explored by integrative medicine specialists across the globe.
These studies are simply a sample of the proof that exists for the benefits of integrative medicine therapies. In addition to these illnesses and diseases, integrative medicine therapies have been and are still being used to treat a variety of cancers, pain issues, and chronic illness issues with much success. If you are a male experiencing chronic illness or disease and are looking for a different approach to treatment, the integrative medicine approach is worth a talk with your physician.
Who does integrative medicine work for?
Integrative medicine is a treatment method that can work for men at a variety of ages with a variety of conditions. The most common reasons men seek integrative therapies include chronic pain, chronic illness, disease, lack of energy, anxiety, joint pain, high cholesterol, migraines, insomnia, and even the common cold. Furthermore, regardless of age or health, any man who is seeking life longevity or anti-aging techniques can definitely benefit from integrative medicine therapies.
Many people question whether or not men at ANY age can really use integrative medicine. The answer is “yes!” no matter their age, any man can use integrative medicine to treat their illness or slow down the effects of aging. Here we have examples of how men can use integrative medicine at every age.
Men in their 30s
In their 30s, men are still experiencing the prime of their health and wellness years. If you are in your 30s it is likely you are not yet experiencing chronic pain and you have not been diagnosed with any chronic illnesses. However, you might be interested in slowing down aging and improving your physical self so you can avoid chronic illness or pain in the future. For that reason, some of the best integrative medicine therapies for men in their 30s include dieting techniques and physical therapies that will improve body and muscle function.
Men in their 40s
Once men hit their 40s things begin to slow down just a little bit and for the first time in their life, they might be experiencing pain or injury from sports or physical activity. If you are a man in your 40s experiencing physical ailments for the first time, you need to begin treating your symptoms by treating your body at the root of the problem. Some integrative therapy techniques you can try to include acupuncture and massage therapy.
Men in their 50s
At the age of 50, men are likely to experience health issues for the first time in their life. Some of the most common health issues include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even heightened anxiety from a long history of pressure at work. If you are a male in your 50s experiencing these or any other health concerns, you are a likely candidate for integrative medicine. Some integrative medicine therapies you can try include herbal remedies and homeopathy. These therapies can help to treat diseases or ailments at their root and improve your overall physical health
Men in their 60s, 70s and beyond
Beyond the ages of 60 and 70, the health issues a man can face are many. Some of the most common issues are diseases such as cancer and diabetes, but also chronic pain and loss of mobility. As a man in your 60s and 70s, you are able to use integrative medicine to treat these issues at the root cause. Common integrative medicine therapies used at this age include physical therapy, homeopathy, herbal remedies, and Chinese medicine.
Integrative medicine in real life
In the celebrity world, there are many well-known celebrities who use integrative medicine to improve their health, increase their life-span, reduce the effects of aging, and improve their physical fitness.
Celebrities who use integrative medicine to address their health include many men at a variety of ages.
Most people are not surprised to learn that Dr. Oz is a big advocate for alternative medicine because he promotes it regularly on his television show. However, you may be surprised to find that his favorite methods of integrative medicine include yoga, mudbaths, and aromatic essential oils. These treatments help to heal his body, improve his muscle function, and keep his body working properly.
Tom Cruise has many beliefs people are surprised by, but one they should not be surprised to learn is his belief in integrative medicine. Tom believes in a holistic approach to everything and uses herbal and natural remedies to keep his body functioning at its normal level.
Meditation is the remedy of choice for integrative medicine enthusiast Richard Gere. He uses the practice to clear his mind, help him think, and relieve his anxiety. Like many other celebrities, Gere has found that mindfulness and a reduction in anxiety lead to improved health all over the body.
Like Gere, Simmons also believes in the power of meditation and integrative medicine to heal the body. As a hip-hop artist, Simmons uses meditation to clear his mind and get him the best energy to make it through his long, heavily-scheduled days. Simmons believes that meditation is the reason for his good health.
These men practice integrative medicine therapies such as meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal medicine, and Chinese medicine and claim them to be extremely beneficial. Along with these well-known men, there are also many respected women such as Oprah who believe and utilize integrative medicine therapies for their health as well.
If you are looking for evidence of integrative therapy benefits in your own life, chances are you won’t have to look too far. It is likely that many of your friends and family use integrative medicine to treat their bodies as well. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 people use integrative or alternative medicine to improve their health.
The next time you find yourself addressing an ailment remember integrative therapy. Integrative therapy is a method of medical treatment many people use and it is growing in popularity every day. If you are interested in integrative medicine, it is likely you will be able to find a physician covered by your insurance who will help you on your journey! With integrative medicine, there are no limits to medical treatments anymore, and we love it!
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