Integrative medicine for emotional health supports a ‘whole body’ approach to emotional well-being, using several fields of medicine and nutritional science. An integrative approach to mood, emotional or mental health issues involves a comprehensive model of care that is person-centred, based on an individual’s lifestyle, goals, and state of happiness. This support connects areas such as psychology, dietary support, physical therapies, and relaxation techniques.
- Integrative medicine is designed to treat the whole person, not just the disease.
- The approach includes first establishing a good relationship between doctor and patient during which the practitioner needs to understand the genetic background, as well as the general health of the patient, including both physical and emotional history.
- Underlying issues such as nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, infections, toxicities, and genetic disorders will give the practitioner a holistic picture of the patient, enabling customised treatments to be devised and implemented to ensure an overall wellness outcome.
- Along with mainstream traditional medicine, integrative medicine only includes non-conventional treatments that are able to prove scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.
- With regard to assisting emotional health, integrative medicine often includes Eastern-based practices such as meditation and mindfulness for managing conditions such as anxiety and depression. In this way, the psychological, social and spiritual aspects of the patient’s health are incorporated into the treatment.
The mind-body connection
Western medicine has traditionally focused on the disease-based model of medicine, analysing physical symptoms, seeking cures that eliminate the illness, and assuming that is all that is needed. However, understanding that the mind has a powerful impact on the body has long been an aspect of the ancient healing systems of the East.
Along with new technologies, researchers of the 20th century have begun to find connection between stress, beliefs and health. Today, more and more practitioners are conceding that there is now sufficient, tested evidence that the mind influences health. In recognising this, other methods of treatment such as relaxation and hypnosis are being used effectively in the promotion of better health and in the management of physical ailments.
Psychological factors can play a large role in the development of serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. Chronic stress and even a pessimistic outlook, can influence susceptibility to infection, leading to a range of gradually more debilitating diseases. Mind, mood and wellbeing are a crucially linked in the sustainability of a healthy and enjoyable life.
Dr Louise Lindenberg
Dr Louise Lindenberg runs an integrated medical practice in Durbanville, Cape Town. She incorporates dietary intervention, supplementation, nutrition, phytotherapy/herbal medicine, and allopathic medicine in a holistic health care environment.
Her passion is working with children on the Autistic Spectrum, including Autism, PDD, ADD, ADHD and behavioural problems. She follows a biomedical approach in treating children to improve their outcome in the Autistic Spectrum. Due to her specialised knowledge she is a sought after speaker and frequently addresses other medical professionals, teachers and parents on various topics relating to autism.
Find more information at: www.drlindenberg.co.za