An Integrative Approach to Medical Care and Health Maintenance
Role of Patient
How is the individual involved in his or her treatment and health?
We believe that the ultimate responsibility and accountability of one’s health lies with the individual. The Cardiology Wellness Center is founded on the principles of facilitating health by providing the resources to assist an individual in reaching their highest health potential. Through our guidance and support, we hope that the individual patient will be empowered to take charge of their health. Once accomplished, the magical interlay between the patient and the healthcare provider can be best realized in achieving optimal health for the patient. Active participation by the individual is essential, if attempts to maximize health, to prevent diseases, or to treat an existing condition are to be successful. Making healthy lifestyle choices are necessary to ensure that medical treatments are successful. Under the best of circumstances, the best treatments are undermined, and possibly totally negated, by the poor lifestyle choices of a person.
Depending upon the case, recommended treatment may use the benefits of conventional Western medicine combined with alternative or complementary treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, yoga, and stress reduction techniques. This multi-dimensional approach and integrative medical strategy offers the best opportunity to meet the individual on his/her terms, without sacrificing the benefits from any discipline and treatment philosophy. By providing an opportunity for a patient to discuss his/her needs in depth, we attempt to form an alliance with the patient and to facilitate a health program that combines the expressed needs of the individual with a rational and evidence based approach to their health concerns.
Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
– Consortium of Academic Centers for Integretative Medicine
At Cardiology Wellness Center, we use multiple treatment modalities and paradigms of health to ensure the health of our patients. We use both allopathic (or conventional Western) and alternative medical practices- to provide personal and individualized health solutions for our clients. We encourage healthy lifestyles, which include regular recreational exercise and proper nutrition, meditative activities, and yoga and body works. We provide the necessary education and materials to ensure compliance with the individualized recipes for health that are developed conjointly with the patient. We try to secure intelligent, practical, and economic solutions to the problems presented by our patients.
There are numerous conditions that this clinic manages that is best treated using an allopathic approach. For example, conventional treatment of abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and many heart diseases have been developed based upon many clinical trials that have been conducted using the highest available scientific methods and precision. WIth such evidence, many medications used in these trials hat have proven benefits can be used with minimal side-effects and benefits. When there is an over-whelming evidence for use, such medications will be enthusiastically offered and recommended.
Depending on the patient’s needs and preferences, use of complimentary treatments will be attempted and used in conjunction with these proven therapies. It should be recognized that all treatments should offer benefits that exceed their risk of usage. Many so-called natural medications may have undesirable adverse effects.
In essence, each individual may react to a treatment positively or negatively depending upon genetic predisposition, interaction with diet and other medications, and even psychological attitudes to the treatment. Therefore, treatment should be individualized.
There are numerous therapeutic and body work and meditative practices that would complement the usual disease state model treatment. The term “alternative medicine” is best defined as any healing practice that is outside the scope of usual conventional or allopathic medicine, focusing on therapies that have a historical or cultural basis and empiric benefits.
The American National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) cites many examples of different traditions of health care, including meditation, yoga, naturopathy, chiropractic medicine,
When these practices are used in conjunction with mainstream techniques, this combination of both alternative and mainstream allopathic interventions falls under the umbrella term of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM.
Although aware of these modalities of treatment, I am certainly not an expert in all of these areas. I have identified individuals in the community that specialize in these areas. I am hoping that one day that a consortium of health care providers in Nashville representing these disciplines can be organized.
I have a particular interest in nutritional approaches and supplementation. Although the allopathic community has for the most part dismissed the advantages of nutritional supplements, there are situations that I feel that they are justified. In addition, I am a great believer in meditation which can be facilitated through regular Yoga practice.
Yoga and Body Works
There are numerous therapeutic and body work and meditative practices that would complement the usual disease state model of treatment.
I personally practice Yoga on a regular basis. If for only its balancing and physical limbering and flexibility properties, yoga would be sufficient; the routine practice of yoga offers a remarkable solution for those seeking freedom from a wide range of ailments of the musculoskeletal system. But the practice of Yoga extends far beyond the physical and offers an opportunity for a practitioner of Yoga to find contentment and freedom from the egoic sufferings of anger and depression.
If interested in familiarizing yourself with the potential of this ancient art, I would recommend Iyengar’s Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom or Cope’s Yoga and the Quest for the True Self.
Additionally, Tai Chi, Healing Qigong, Breema, and Pilates and Feldenkrais Body Works would also be advisable, depending upon need.
We in Nashville are fortunate to have a vibrant yoga community. These practices and services are offered through many outlets in Nashville, including YMCA, private yoga studios (12 South Yoga, Yoga Sanctuary, Liberation Yoga, and Yoga Center, Nashville Mind and Body, and Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health). I strongly recommend your setting some time each week to engage in these vitalizing practices.
As part of the Cardiology Wellness Center’s philosophy on the patient’s responsibilities in his or her treatment, we educate the patient on the vast importance nutrition plays in one’s health.
We consider one of the essential elements of any health program to be a healthy nutritious diet.
Nutritional research has shown us that individuals that eat in restaurants are more obese than those that prepare meals at home. For most frequently visited restaurant commercial chain restaurant, included in their website, sometimes obscurely, is a compendium of the nutritional and calorie contents of the menu items of that restaurant. If you eat “out” more than 2-3 times weekly, I would strongly suggest you review the nutritional content of the foods you are ingesting. As you will see, restaurant foods are generally calorie dense and salt and fat laden. As such, eating at restaurants present as a barrier to the nutritional goals of a healthy lifestyle.
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