Latest Treatment Options in Integrative Medicine
Some approaches in Integrative Medicine – such as acupuncture – date back thousands of years. Others are much newer. What links them all is a goal of helping people feel better.
“Our entire team takes part in a number of conferences and we’re always on the lookout for new ideas or treatments than can help people,” said physician Dawn Flickema, MD, Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine Sioux Falls. “That’s what led us to incorporate the BioMat as well as HeartMath in the treatment options at our clinic.”
For about a year, Flickema and her team have incorporated a heated, crystal-lined device that incorporates energy therapy as a means of natural healing. The BioMat can help adjust ion imbalances in the body and provides heat, electromagnetic frequencies and infrared light.
“Patients say it helps to lessen pain and provides relaxation,” Flickema said. “It can be used on its own or it can serve to augment other therapies, such as acupuncture. It has 17 layers and during the 20-30 minute sessions, the devices helps to increase blood flow.”
Much like regular treatments of acupuncture, recurring sessions on the BioMat build up over time, allowing for more relief from aches and some reductions in some chronic pain.
Mindfulness practice is a method of self-therapy and care that can improve mood, reduce anxiety and lead to better healing. Patients who seek mindfulness can use HeartMath to help them.
“Mindfulness is one of the best tools for fighting cancer, chronic pain or other conditions can use. But many people who try it and abandon it quickly – they feel it just doesn’t work for them,” Flickema said. “HeartMath helps people visualize their breathing and the steps it takes to achieve a mindful state. It remains among the most influential tools we can use.”
HeartMath sessions can be done in the clinic on a PC or a smartphone. Using an app as well as a small heart monitor that attaches to the earlobe, participants follow a guided meditation and see, on screen, their heart rate. The guided sessions encourage deeper breathing while the voice encourages thoughts of gratitude or appreciation.
“It really helps people reach a beneficial level of relaxation that can open up the mind and the subconscious, allowing for a renewed sense of focus and calmness,” said Flickema. “The research behind it is science-based, and with practice – it’s called practicing meditation, after all – it truly can help people live in the moment and develop an awareness of the heart-brain connection we all have.”
The new tools, used mostly on an outpatient basis, do require curiosity – a desire to learn more about the body’s response various treatment protocols.
“These are powerful tools that can help anyone,” Flickema said.