I have been working to create and grow integrative holistic medicine centers, satellites and programs in New Jersey health systems. (Integrative refers to evidence-based, world medicine practices and holistic refers to body, mind and spirit.) My work helps to fund, recruit and place individuals and physicians trained in integrative modalities like functional medicine, acupuncture, massage, bio-identicals into those systems so that habit change processes in life planning can be implemented.
With about $115B a year being spent on Integrative Medicine related services and products internationally at a 10% annual growth rate, these transformational avenues to wellness and prevention are making huge differences in healthcare costs and treatments. By doing Integrative medicine assessments, education, coaching and life planning, these centers for well-being are changing the health of their region’s population. This is being done through evidence based diet, exercise and stress management programs where healthy behavior habit practices and holistic diagnostics focusing on root-cause issues are first identified and then addressed. The other good news is that these programs are being reimbursed through the Accountable Care Act at $100+ dollars per visit up to 72 visits a year.
Thirty million U.S. citizens will have health insurance in January of 2014. In the new world order of American healthcare, we will be providing population health for people, tens, even hundreds of thousands of people who have typically only ever seen physicians in an Emergency Room setting after the illness has become acute. These urgent practitioners have served as their family physicians since they were small children, and prevention and wellness have been distant realities in their world.
We also live in a country that inundates us with advertisements, billboards, and jingles about manufactured food that has been specifically engineered and designed to be addictive through its sodium and sugar content and its man-made scientifically analyzed texture. We have fallen into a style and standard of living that has produced sedentary and obese citizens; 26 million diabetics and 70 million pre–diabetics. It is a system that is costing us $35B in diabetic treatments, and has a bottom line price tag of $2.4T a year. Why not reach out to medical practice techniques that are thousands of years old?
Integrative Medicine approaches your health in a common sense manner, teaches you how to break bad habits, immerses you in nurturing activities that address your whole being, and allows you to become introspective about your own health so that root cause affects can be addressed and ameliorated.
Finally, medically directed nutraceuticals, herbs, vitamins and healthy foods along with other modalities such as acupuncture, massage, music, art, aroma and humor therapies are proven methods of treatment that are being embraced at places like Duke University , The Cleveland Clinic, Scripps, Atlantic Health, the VA, the DoD and over three dozen major medical and academic centers in the United States. The due diligence has been done. It’s time to shift your personal paradigm and embrace this opportunity to make yourself healthy.