When you hear the word “integrative,” does it make you think of “woo woo” pseudoscience? I’m here to tell you the reality is far from that. Integrative care simply means blending the best of modern, Western medicine with ancient and holistic practices—and I, like many experts, believe it’s truly the future of healthcare.
It is a common misconception that integrative doctors don’t believe in or follow science. I was trained in pediatrics and one of the top-rated Western pediatric residencies in America, and my partner trained in an Ivy League pediatric program. Science always guides our decisions.
Modern medicine is amazing and wonderful. We have cures to diseases that caused major suffering just a few years ago. If your child gets a pneumonia, we have antibiotics that can heal them within days. If your child get injured, there is technology like X-rays and MRI’s that can show us exactly what is going on. This is nothing short of magic.
But unfortunately, in today’s medical system, we focus our attention far more on treatment than on prevention or the root cause of disease. In many scenarios, we don’t need to use a medication, but Western medicine is often quick to jump to a pill. That’s because today’s doctors (myself included) were taught all about pharmaceutical medicine, and it’s often the only solution we know.
Integrative medicine doesn’t reject pharmaceutical, but rather expands a practitioner’s options to support the body. An integrative pediatrician may use supplements, tinctures, or ancient healing practices in place or alongside medications. The trick is in balancing those two worlds and recognizing when it would be unsafe to use a natural option in place of a medication.
Integrative pediatricians come in all shapes and sizes. Some are generalists who perform all regular pediatric functions with a natural spin. Others are more specialized and focus on specific conditions like autism, ADHD, cancer, behavior issues, Lyme disease, PANDAS/PANS, auto-immune conditions, gut health issues, and others.