It would be my impression that most all healthcare practitioners recognize the need for some level of knowledge in complementary and alternative therapies, and many express specific interest in this area of practice but are sort of at a loss of how to both obtain that education and ultimately, how to implement it into practice. As many as sixty percent of physicians have recommended an alternative therapy to their patient's plan, at least once, and half have used them themselves. However, very few are fully comfortable with or knowledgeable enough about these therapies to actually integrate them into their clinical practice or be knowledgeable enough about them to actually educate their clients. This extends to pharmacists and dietitians as well.
Often when knowledge is limited, it is botanical medicine clinicians have more hesitation as they aren't measurable but are ingested. Typically homeopathy is the preference because it can essentially be prescribed, or those modalities that aren't consumed, such as massage, aromatherapy, and acupuncture. However, the known potential for pharmacologic activity is exactly what makes botanical medicines of special interest to many clinicians. Most medical and nursing programs do not really address complementary therapies or extend only a single assignment, chosen by the student, to dive in a little deeper. These programs are shaped on the test questions they will ultimately face for board certification. Most all clinicians today have had no education in complementary and alternative healing modalities, and most haven't heard of functional medicine at all.
Integrative practitioners embrace both conventional and alternative practices critically, prioritizing therapeutic options according to their level of benefit, risk, potential toxicity, and cost the the client. Often, while integrative clinicians offer a plethora of options, they aren't typically a specialist in any particular modality. Rather, they are more generalists. Some however have received additional certification in acupuncture or yoga therapy. Integrative medicine practitioners serve as a bridge for clients seeking both conventional and alternative healing modalities. However, their mindset is still not functional in that while they may recognize a pharmaceutical isn't always the best approach, they may still offer a plethora of supplements or a multitude of chiropractic visits without really digging into the underlying cause of dis-ease. This is where functional medicine clinicians shine. We seek to identify the cause and resolve it.
Having said that, while all clinicians - conventional, integrative, and functional alike - claim to have priority for healthy living, the reality is that all of these specialities are specifically disease-focused. They await that moment of triage when we must scramble to identify the cause of dis-ease, and aren't specializing in actually attaining optimal health. Our society is not one that even prioritizes health. In fact, we are accustomed to over-working, enduring chronic stress, and neglecting our needs until we are completely exhausted. This is not optimal emotionally or physically, and will not provide you lifelong vitality.
Our practice is unique in that we really dig into your health history, daily habits, and well-being - and we support you in applying wellness habits, with Dr. Layne offering a plethora of educational programs for all ages and stages of life. She meets with her active clients every Wednesday for an hour to offer tips and a bit of accountability. Our clinic has yoga, mindfulness practices, regular hikes, a book club, and an IV Nutritional Lounge. We are dedicated to wellness and welcome you in our community.