There are only a handful of doctors like me in the UK – dually trained in conventional and complementary medical therapies. We take an Holistic approach to an individual and focus on not only relieving symptoms, which modern medicine can be very good at, but also try and restore the function of the cells, tissues and organs in the body to improve or restore health.
When I see patients, I am able to balance the use of both prescription drugs (like inhalers, blood pressure medication or antibiotics), with ‘Functional’ therapy (diet, life-style, nutritional supplements, natural medicines) to both relieve symptoms and aim at helping the body restore function or even ‘cure’ ailments.
Conventional medicine is predominantly about giving people treatment to make them feel better whilst the body, if it can, heals itself. Integrated Medicine not only uses this but also prescribes to support, or activate, self-healing metabolic processes.
IM is about helping people to feel better as well as getting fixed. It is important to establish underlying cause of conditions and disease which includes identifying infective and toxic agents but also identify weakness in immunity, detoxification, nutritional deficiencies, life-style habits and poor exercise routines.
One area of our speciality is to help people who have not responded well to conventional medications or treatments. We also see many people who have conditions for which no conventional therapy can help.
There are many challenges for both doctors who specialise in integrated medicine and those wishing to explore alternative health plans. At this time there is very little formal training in the UK. You have to go to the US or Far East to obtain registered qualifications. The British Society for Ecological Medicine does offer some educational opportunities for professionals, but they are very limited at the moment.
I would say that at this time there is a misunderstanding of the very broad knowledge that doctors in Integrated Medicine actually have and what they do.
Doctors like me try to offer the best of both worlds ensuring we do no harm (a main edict of the doctors Hippocratic oath) and being open to most therapeutic options – most of which have clear evidence of efficacy.