What is an Integrative Medicine Doctor?

Almost every time you browse the web, turn on the TV, or pick up a magazine you see information on new medical treatments. Many of these claim to be ‘homeopathic,’ ‘naturopathic,’ or ‘alternative’ medicine … while others promise ‘miracle cures’ or questionable remedies that ‘doctors don’t know about’.  

In this day and age of information overload it’s hard to know what medical information is legitimate and what is simply a scam or ‘click bait’. Of course, we all want to improve our health! But, knowing what to believe can be daunting.

In this article, renowned Austin Texas doctor, Ruthie Harper, MD, explains what ‘integrative’ medicine means – and discusses how it can help patients achieve health, wellbeing, vitality, and longevity!

What Is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative Medicine is an approach to treating patients that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of their lifestyle. In other words, while a podiatrist looks only at the feet, or an ophthalmologist looks only at the eyes, an integrative medicine doctor looks at the whole person: body, mind, and the circumstances of their life.

Integrative medicine puts a high priority on the therapeutic relationship between the doctor and the patient. This enables the doctor to understand all of the internal factors and the external influences that may be affecting the patient’s health.

Additionally, integrative medicine makes use of all appropriate science-based, clinically proven treatments and therapies.  For example, a traditional or ‘regular’ doctor may simply prescribe an arthritis medication. But an integrative medicine physician will also help the patient adjust their diet, take the proper supplements, and enroll in yoga or other activities, that can help improve joint health.

Integrative Medicine is Different than “Alternative Medicine”

“Alternative medicine” is not the same as integrative medicine. Alternative medicine refers to the use of therapies that take the place of conventional medical treatment. An example of “alternative medicine” would be treating a patient’s cancer with shark cartilage instead of chemotherapy.  

Typically, alternative medicine treatments have not undergone the rigorous scientific investigation that conventional medical treatments undergo, to make sure they are safe and effective.  Alternative treatments often prey on people’s desperation for a fast, easy or ‘miracle’ cure. They can also be expensive and are not covered by health insurance.

Integrative Medicine Treats the Whole Person

The goal of integrative medicine is to offer the same safe, researched, FDA approved medical treatments that conventional doctors offer – with additional support using well-researched and safe complementary lifestyle interventions and therapies.

Integrative medicine combines the best of both worlds – combining traditional medicine and complementary therapies – with an emphasis on safety, science-based evidence, and proven results.

Many integrative medicine doctors, like nationally renowned Austin, TX physician Dr. Ruthie Harper, have undergone additional professional training that is focused on safe, evidence-based integrative therapies.

Integrative medicine providers prescribe prescription medicines, diagnostic testing, and even surgery (when necessary) just like ‘regular’ doctors do. But they take responsibility for heath and healing a step further by recommending complementary therapies and lifestyle that support conventional medical treatments.

Integrative medicine therapies can include:

  • Meditation | Stress Management
  • Diet & Nutrition | Supplements
  • Intestinal (“Gut”) Health
  • Hormone Balancing
  • PRP | Natural Cellular Rejuvenation
  • Weight Loss | HGH | Exercise
  • Genetic Testing | Blood Marker Analysis

Remember, when these therapies are prescribed by an integrative medicine doctor, they will be based in science, and thoroughly clinically tested to deliver proven results.

This is much safer and more effective than trying random remedies or cures that you have heard about online. An integrative medicine doctor will also ensure that any complementary therapies you use are compatible with your other treatments and medications – and will not cause side effects or interfere with your current regimens.

How Can an Integrative Medicine Doctor Help Me?

An integrative medicine doctor like Ruthie Harper, MD in Austin, TX delivers whole-person care. She combines traditional medical treatments with complementary therapies to keep your entire body in balance, so you can heal your body and mind and live with health and vitality.

Complementary, integrative therapies do not replace conventional medical treatments – but they can also help patients reduce symptoms, complications, side effects of many chronic or complex medical conditions. Integrative medicine can help patients who are living with:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain | Fibromyalgia
  • Type 2 Diabetes | Obesity
  • Headaches
  • Infertility
  • Menopause | Low Testosterone
  • Sexual Dysfunctions
  • Thyroid & Adrenal Problems
  • Low Energy | Fatigue
  • Macular Degeneration
  • … many more chronic medical issues!

Integrative Medicine Doctor | Austin, TX

Every person deserves health, vitality and longevity! Integrative medicine doctor Ruthie Harper, MD empowers patient to take control of their physical and mental well being with science-based, clinically proven treatments and therapies.

Your health is a reflection of optimal cellular function, personalized nutrition, balanced hormones, scientifically designed exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Dr. Harper and her staff will create a personalized, integrative health program that address each of these areas so that you can achieve the health and quality of life you deserve!

Integrative Medicine Doctor | Austin, TX: (512) 343-9355