The Integrative Healthcare Symposium

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I have been attending a large gathering of integrative medicine professionals for the past two years. Each time, I’ve come away from this conference with feelings of excitement, wonder and HOPE.

There is hope for the future of medicine where we can get to the core issues that promote not only disease but also wellness.  I’m going to share with you some highlights.

The Microbiome

microbiomeThe microbiome is one of the major topics that was covered and a prominent integrative neurologist, Dr. Perlmutter, spoke on this subject.

The microbiome involves bacteria that live primarily in the gut, but also in other places in the body.

These tiny bacteria are affected by our diet and when high amounts of sugar (even artificial sweeteners) and animal fats are consumed, certain bacteria grow better than others. A condition known as “dysbiosis” or imbalance in bacterial types then occurs.

This leads to inflammation in both the abdomen and brain which results in conditions like obesity and Alzheimer’s dementia. Nutrition, is thus a key component for maintaining a proper environment for health in the body.

Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

Another talk centered on how the Cleveland Clinic, which is one of the most prestigious medical centers in the world, recently instituted a center for Functional Medicine. It proved that this center lowers the cost of treating common conditions. This gave me hope since I can deliver this type of healthcare to patients in my own community within the medical system of where I practice.

The Medicine of the Future

smart watchA look into how the future might look as it concerns where medicine is practiced and the novel technologies involved really captured my imagination.

Everybody is probably familiar with “fitbits” and wearable technology that records our heart rate, blood pressure and the steps we walk. However, there are companies out there working on virtual care where patients can wear headsets to recreate environments of healing.

There is a large movement to improve healthcare and I felt connected to the notion of not simply prescribing a medication to treat a specific condition but to make the patient the center of care by looking at their body, mind and spirit. When we integrate all three parts in the process of healing, true health can be restored.

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