Because the healthcare industry keeps changing, new models of care seem to emerge every day. One such model that has received a lot of attention lately is Integrative Health Care, but what is it exactly?
Integrative practices combine a variety of practitioners within the same facility. In most cases, the individual practitioners will each have their own unique approach to dealing with a specific medical issue. For example, for a patient with low back pain a Chiropractor will have one way of treating them while a massage therapist, acupuncturist, or functional medicine MD will each have a different approach. Each provider has the same goal, to treat the patient’s back pain by addressing the root cause of the pain, but will all have different methods to achieve this goal. Integrative healthcare is unique in that it creates a partnership between the practitioner and the patient, with the primary goal being to provide the most effective and appropriate care plan for patients, even if this means sending them to another practitioner. Sometimes as providers, we can get so focused on our goal of helping our patients that we fail to see that another provider may have a better answer for that particular patient. Providing patients with a variety of treatment options in house, offers them the opportunity to choose the mode of care with which they are most comfortable. This also enables providers to offer alternative and complementary care to their patients when necessary.
As chiropractors, we treat a variety of conditions most commonly related to the spine. At Owen Family Chiropractic, we frequently provide soft tissue work including massage, assisted stretching, and monitored active care exercise. However, sometimes a patient will require more focus in one or several of these areas than we can give in a typical appointment. As part of an integrative practice at Cary Integrative Health, we have the opportunity to refer these patients to practitioners we work with on a daily basis. This benefits patients by providing the most effective and appropriate treatment at any given time and by providing them with a measure of control over their healthcare plan. It also fosters a professional relationship with the patient where they feel that they are being fully cared for, and not just another number walking in the door.