Isn’t it annoying how we LOVE to label things? We all have slightly different definitions of words, influenced by our pasts, our surroundings and our histories… and holistic health is definitely one of the areas where definitions really make a difference. So when it comes to getting all of us on the same page, here’s what we really mean when we say “holistic health”.
Here’s What We Really Do
We tell people all the time that holistic health and integrative medicine is not alternative medicine. This isn’t about choosing one or the other: Western medicine or a holistic approach. If we get strep throat, we want an antibiotic! But sometimes, especially when it comes to chronic conditions, you need to look at the big picture, too. Recurring sinus infections, for example, can’t always be treated effectively with a nasal spray and antibiotics, and our approaches to reducing inflammation, eliminating dietary triggers and building up the immune system can help people finally find relief. Bloating, period cramps and even some stubborn pain can also be treated extremely effectively. But if you’ve been in a car accident or have a broken arm, you’re going to want western medical care ASAP, no question. But for ongoing care and general wellness, you’ll definitely benefit from a broader approach with the right team.
Chronic Pain Isn’t Always About Popping A Pill
Chronic pain comes up a lot when our friends (and patients) need advice. Many aren’t opposed to medications, but they don’t want to have to rely on them constantly. We strongly advocate for a full body approach… our massage therapists are trained specifically in muscle rehabilitation, our acupuncturist can help reduce inflammation and then we use specialized regenerative injections like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or prolotherapy to ensure that the pain doesn’t only get better; it also stays better. Now, don’t get us wrong: medications save millions of lives, and a prescription can often make the pain go away. But we take the time to hear a person’s history, and work to get at the root cause of a problem. That’s a much more gratifying experience for all of us.
Getting a Belly? It Could Be Stress!
We see SO many women in their 40s and 50s who, all of a sudden, just have that dreaded muffin top. As we age, our metabolism slows down, and the stress from our hectic lives can drive more fat to our midsection. We know the stress hormone (or the ‘busy’ hormone as Dr. Ash likes to remind us!) cortisol is involved: visceral fat, which is found deep in the abdominal cavity and raises your risk of heart disease, has up to four times more cortisol receptors than the fat that sits just under your skin. So when there’s a lot of cortisol in your bloodstream, the fat tissue responds by increasing its size. Our team works by finding relaxation techniques and herbs that will balance your cortisol levels, and fine-tuning your diet to limit things like sugar, which your body doesn’t process as well when you have belly fat. This topic almost always comes up over a glass of wine, so our first piece of advice is to put down that glass: Alcohol is sugary!