Integrative Medicine is an increasingly popular approach that combines the best of Conventional Medicine and Natural Medicine. Addressing the root causes of illness allows us to support the body to return to a healthy balanced state. It is well-documented that the causes of illness are often related to toxicity, nutritional deficiency, and psycho-emotional factors. Genetic predisposition is simply that- a predisposition. We now know through the study of epigenetics that genes can switch on or off depending on the cellular environment which is determined largely by the above factors.
When illness arises, there are two approaches we can take. We can ‘battle’ disease by suppressing symptoms, or we can support the body in a targeted way to heal itself. Conventional Medicine uses the first method through drugs and surgery. Integrative Medicine favours the second by addressing the causative factors that created the disease and its related symptoms.
By providing the body with all that it needs for an optimal inner environment, we can activate and enhance its many and varied self-repair pathways. The body, by design, is always trying to heal itself. This is a universally agreed medical truth. The production of symptoms is actually part of this process. For example, the five cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, redness, swelling, heat, and loss of function. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful stimuli (e.g. pathogens, damaged cells, and irritants)- it is trying to remove them from the body so that they don’t cause further damage. Instead of supporting our body in this process, we often oppose it! We give anti-inflammatories, steroids, and other drugs that suppress the immune system. We feel better in the short-term, but all of these carry their own lengthy side effect profiles, and at the same time, we allow the harmful substances and toxins to remain in the body. Many serious diseases are known to be linked with toxins causing damage. Cancer is on the rise all the time, and cancer is associated with cellular damage. Heart disease and stroke are associated with damage to arterial walls. There are many other associations. Conventional Medicine can be life-saving of course, and is unparalleled when it comes to structural problems such as bone fractures. The problem is it is used indiscriminately for all chronic (long-term) disease too. Chronic disease is often much better approached from an Integrative Medical perspective.