What is Complementary /Alternative Medicine and What are the Benefits?
What Is Complementary/Alternative Medicine?
Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM), is an approach to health care that addresses all of the factors that contribute to your health such as physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental concerns. With CAM, treating the patient as a whole is key to success. CAM uses conventional Western (traditional) medicine in combination with tested, natural therapies to achieve wellness and sustain optimal health. CAM goes beyond treating symptoms and results but tries to find the root cause of illness. This discipline also works on prevention, education, and maintenance techniques. Prevention is a big key in CAM, working to prevent illness or prolong their initial onset.
How Does Complementary/Alternative Work?
By combining different therapies and treatment approaches based on your unique circumstances, patients enjoy better treatment outcomes. The treatment is made for each individual.
At our office you can meet with a provider who has experience in CAM, Megan Hryckowian- Mazur PA-C, and with her you can experience the following:
- An initial evaluation on your concerns
- A detailed examination that focuses on symptoms, medical history, mental health, physical health and lifestyle choices
- Work on preventative medicine, with yearly physicals or well exams
- A personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs that works in addition with your Primary Care Physician (PCP)
-This may include referrals to other practitioners in traditional medicine, CAM or Integrative Medicine
-This can also include learning new healthful behaviors, starting a new diet and exercise plan, adding nutritional supplements to your diet, and learning stress and pain management techniques
Who’s A Good Candidate for Complementary/Integrative Medicine?
Anyone! But continuing your follow up appointments with your PCP and/or other specialists as well as continuing on your current medications is highly recommended. Sometimes with CAM treatments/methods we can replace medications.
At our office, Megan Hryckowian-Mazur PA-C can focus on CAM techniques such as:
- Herbal supplements to help with common medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, fatty liver disease, diabetes, anxiety, mild depression, seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, stomach issues and irritable bowel syndrome
- Herbal supplements and hormone replacement to help with women’s health such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), peri-menopause and post-menopause symptoms
- Stress management and techniques
- Proper nutrition and nutrition/food label education, especially for diabetics
- Healthy, appropriate exercise routine regimens tailored for the patient
- Weight loss management
- Encouraging yoga and meditation
- Use of essential oils
Other Common CAM practices that we can refer out for can include:
- Therapy animals
- Guided Imaging
- Music Therapy
Why Should I Consider Complementary/Alternative Medicine?
This is a rapidly growing field of medicine. Patients can get the best benefit from a combination of CAM and traditional medication to achieve optimal health. When you choose a provider who has experience in CAM, you’re taking charge of your health by adopting a healthy approach that includes:
- A close bond between you and your practitioner
- Use of traditional treatments in addition to alternative treatment plans
- Emphasis on non-invasive treatments when possible
- A commitment to using science-backed treatments at all times
- A health strategy focused on prevention and adoption of healthy lifestyle habits
- A holistic approach that focuses on all of the factors that cause illness and disease
Are There Any Risks Involved with Integrative Medicine?
Talk to your doctor about integrative medicine to see if it’s right for you. CAM should always be accompanied by standard, science-backed care. It is always encouraged for patients to continue to see their PCP’s and specialists. Some conditions are not suitable for CAM treatment. Always inform all providers who give you medical care know what additional treatments or CAM methods you are using. There are some supplements that can interact negatively with medications.
If you’d like to learn more about CAM, make an appointment with Megan Hryckowian-Mazur PA-C today at Tri-County Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights. She received her Physician Assistant degree in 2014 from Western Michigan University. She received a Certificate in Complementary Medicine and Wellness at Oakland University, which she really enjoys incorporating into her practice.