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My journey into integrative medicine

Updated: Aug 25, 2022

My journey began in the rural mountains of Tennessee. Growing up, I never understood that our choices had an impact on our overall health. That quickly changed once I began college and I learned that every single major cause of disease in the U.S. can be prevented. This came as a huge shock to my system as I recalled the lack of nutrition and exercise in my own life and those around me. I thought, "How could no one know that we are killing ourselves slowly with our food and lifestyles?"


"At the time, I had no idea how interrelated my health was with the rest of my life." 


I spent the next several years correcting bad habits. I was suddenly drinking water and eating salad for the first time. I began walking regularly and noticed the huge shift in my demeanor and physical endurance. What began as a desire to manage stress and be healthy turned into a "re-birth" of how I interacted with the world around me. I began to find happiness, take accountability for my actions and develop meaningful relationships. At the time, I had no idea how interrelated my health was with the rest of my life. 


Today I continue to learn more each day about what it means to "be healthy." During my degree program with Everglades University I learned a tremendous amount about alternative systems of medicine. At the time, I thought "this is it! This is the ANSWER to all of our health problems!" However, my enthusiasm quickly began to fade as I realized that these systems of medicine are inherently ancient and aren't exactly prepared to handle the health epidemics of our current society. 


While Alternative systems of medicine offer extremely valuable solutions, today's practitioners are not entirely prepared for the current political climate. Lack of research on the efficacy of natural medicine leads to skepticism and potentially dangerous situations. Undertrained "practitioners" spread misinformation and constantly step outside their scope of practice. Well-intentioned people are creating a chaotic situation by regurgitating information without citing sources or adequate proof for their claims. While I must admit, at one time I was fully on the "Alternative Medicine all the way" bandwagon – I have since learned that we need an integrative approach to health. 


"Neither Western or Eastern approaches to health are complete."

Once I realized that Alt. Med practitioners and advocates were sharing misinformation and people are actually dying and suffering from injuries I began to evaluate the larger picture of health in our country. Neither Western or Eastern approaches to health are complete. The western medicine care model is not suited for primary care, as practitioners are trained only in treatment of symptoms of disease. Naturopathic care may be more suited for primary care due to their holistic approach to the patient. However, often times Naturopathic Practitioners lack an evidence based approach to disease. In rare cases patients aren't getting the referrals needed when a patient demonstrates a high-risk situation.


Only through effective communication and collaboration can a patient's needs be met. A holistic approach to the patient is absolutely necessary. Additionally, there will always be instances where treating symptoms will be necessary in order for the patient to approach healing. Both sides of health care have something to offer the patient and neither is complete on its own. 


Alternative practitioners deny the value of pharmaceuticals and often refuse to cooperate with Western practitioners. Western practitioners deny the value of holistic care and understandably won't suggest natural remedies that aren't proven or the practitioner doesn't fully understand themselves. 


Eastern and Western approaches to disease are like the two hemispheres of the brain. Eastern perspective offers a broad scope picture, with an in-depth understanding of how systems relate to one another via energetic pathways. Western medicine delves into the intricate microcosm of the body's systems, looking at individual cells & molecules and how they work to create harmony within the body. As you can see, both perspectives are valuable and necessary to comprehend disease. Once both hemispheres begin communicating, we have a fully functioning brain! 


The main premise in Alternative medicine modalities is the recognition of the body's ability to heal itself. Western practitioners would do well to adopt this belief and use pharmaceuticals as a temporary measure to bring about balance to the body. While neither side has the complete answer, a collaborative care model can bring about positive change in our healthcare system. 


"It is my mission to co-create a collaborative health facility so that we may lead the world's healthcare practitioners to facilitate true healing."


Collaborative care models focus on preventative medicine, patient education, mental health care and a panel of practitioners discussing each patient case. Imagine a team of Medical Doctors, Naturopathic Doctors, Ayurvedic Doctors, Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors, Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, Mental Counselors, Acupuncturists, Herbalists & Health Coaches all collaborating to discuss individualized treatment plans for their patients. 


It is my mission to co-create a collaborative health facility so that we may lead the world's healthcare practitioners to facilitate true healing. If any of this resonates with you and your passion, let's talk. Together we will create a healthier, more connected human experience. 


With love,

Brittany

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