Integrative and Holistic Medicine is a beautiful union that combines traditional allopathic medicine, with complementary techniques. It draws on a variety of healing traditions and blends the best of conventional and complementary therapies in a personalized plan that best fits each child and family. As an integrative physician, I consider a child’s health from a holistic perspective, which sometimes extends beyond my allopathic training. We discuss prevention, concerns of general wellness, care for complex illness and embrace a philosophy of partnership between patients, families, allopathic physicians and integrative practitioners. The integrative medicine physician offers innovative and holistic care for the whole child including mind, body and spirit while identifying and supporting each individual’s natural healing capacities.
Pediatric Holistic Medicine is rooted in 5 main principals:
In sports there is a common saying, “the best offence is a good defense”.
If we can prevent an ailment from ever occurring, there is no higher form of medicine. We live in the most amazing time ever in medicine! We have cures for diseases that were sure death sentences a few years ago and little pills can take your pain away in minutes or cure you of various serious bacterial infections.
Unfortunately, allopathic medicine has slowly drifted towards a focus on treatment. Physicians are suffering from an epidemic of inadequate time and resources to discuss preventive care. Patients are spending less and less time with their physician during well check-ups which is cracking the foundation of solid medical practice and siphoning much needed quality discussion on preventive care towards treatment of complex and chronic issues. The pendulum has swung so far to the side of treatment in allopathic medicine, which is one of the main reasons integrative medicine is gaining popularity. Integrative medicine physicians tend to spend more time with the patient, which in turn leads to more in depth discussions on preventative care and an overall healthier and happier patient.
2. COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH
Holistic Pediatrics takes a comprehensive approach to wellness. Often times, integrative physicians have patients fill out lengthy questionnaires of child and family history and they generally spend more face-to-face time elucidating an extended history than the average physician.
An extensive history is taken which includes physical activity, diet, genetics, toxins, development, sleep, environment, past medical concerns, medications, supplements, complementary treatments and many other topics. All of this information helps the integrative pediatrician formulate a strategic, in-depth and individualized care plan.
A holistic pediatrician creates an integrative patient care plan combining allopathic and alternative therapies. Melding the best of both worlds, an integrative pediatrician uses standard medical therapies mixed with complementary modalities such as yoga, acupuncture, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, tinctures and many other modalities. Patients benefit from the extended breadth of options available to the holistic physician.
4. SYSTEMIC HEALING
Traditional Medicine has been fractioned into systems. In medical school and residency, we are taught about the body in systems. We have amazing Cardiologists, Nephrologists and Gastroenterologists who become specialized and extensively knowledgeable in diseases of their system. When evaluating a complicated patient, we are taught to create a differential diagnosis and treatment plan based on systems. While this can help simplify and streamline medical care, it comes at the cost of thinking about problems globally. The issue with this way of thinking is that the human body is not separated into systems, but is a continuum. Everything is connected! Integrative medicine physicians try to step back and see the effects one system has on another and evaluate their patients, not only by systems, but also delve into the connections between systems.
The principle of balance is the most important to keep in mind when considering alternative medicine for yourself or a loved one. An integrative physician’s over-reaching goal is to help restore or maintain balance to the body. Traditional systems are often based around this concept and maladies are thought to stem from imbalances in our life-forces. Acupuncture, tai chi, and various forms of energy medicine are designed to bring the body into balance, which in theory, can help restore health.
Instead of merely treating symptoms, integrative physicians aim to dig deeper and find the root cause of the symptoms. At the end of the day, we try to restore balance to the body.
Dr. Joel Gator Warsh
Dr. Gator is an Integrative and Holistic Pediatrician in Beverly Hills, California. Please check out his website at www.GatorMD.com or find him on Instagram at @DrJoelGator