An Increasing number of patients seek alternative or complementary therapies and no longer rely solely on conventional Western-style medicine. According to the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), upward of 30 percent of adults and roughly 12 percent of children use “health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western, or conventional, medicine.” And, a 2016 study from the NCCIH showed that Americans spent out of their own pockets over $30 billion on alternative and complementary health services in just one year: everything from meditation classes and yoga to probiotics.
A glossary of terms: Alternative medicine approaches health care with no involvement from conventional medicine. Complementary medicine works in addition to conventional medicine, and integrated medicine consists of a coordinated dovetailing of alternative and conventional approaches. Finally, functional medicine is personalized health care treating the individual, not the disease, and supports normal healing mechanisms of the body.
Naturopathic is another term to be aware of. Practitioners of naturopathic medicine, such as Lansing’s Dr. Nicholas Morgan, use approaches including nutrigenomics, functional medicine and weight management, along with motivational interviewing to, in the words of Morgan’s website, “help people make long-term changes to their life” and address issues including gastroenterology and rheumatology. A Google search can reveal more resources that don’t limit themselves to conventional practices, proving that medicine is on an evolutionary path.
iHealth of Michigan, a new health care clinic in Okemos, and other practitioners are meeting new demands with a wide range of services. iHealth’s team presents personalized plans to guide patients in understanding their health and related goals by pinpointing the root causes of chronic diseases, nutrient deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.
“My fundamental principle is that each client is an individual in which root causes to conditions can be found, and whose issues should be addressed through body, mind and spirit,” said Carla Wysko, director of clinical operations at iHealth of Michigan.
A certified reflexologist and nutrition coach with a master’s degree in clinical nutrition, Wysko has been helping clients since 2011 by leveraging decades of personal leadership experience and a passion for healthy living; her dream for iHealth would come to fruition six years later, when their doors opened April 2017.
“Physicians see their patients heal faster when services like nutrition coaching, acupuncture and reflexology are used in conjunction with their treatment plan,” Wysko said.
iHealth of Michigan is not alone in this philosophy. Creative Wellness, an East Lansing-based team that has prospered since 1990, also a holds high value in the practices of alternative health-focused methods such as acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy.
“When we start finding assistance to find the balance that we lost or why we are having our issues, we can step back and start supporting our body and selves,” said Irene Savoyat, co-director and massage therapist at Creative Wellness. “Conventional practices of course have their place, but how do we strike at the imbalances in our complex, fascinating bodies day-to-day, instead of appointment by appointment?”