Why I Went to an Integrative Medicine Doctor
Skip to Content
Alert IconEveryone, age 12 and older, is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccination resources for more information.

Published on August 03, 2016

lisa leuning at the start of her diet

Why I Went to an Integrative Medicine Doctor

In the past, I’ve gone to primary care doctors, and have appreciated specialty care for my parents and children when they’ve had more serious illnesses.

But I had never considered integrative medicine for me until I met an integrative medicine doctor. She is actually a family practitioner who decided to get additional training for integrative medicine. When I asked Dr. Dawn Flickema what made her interested in integrative medicine, I was intrigued to learn the following:

  • Integrative medicine treats the whole person, not just one specific disease.
  • The additional schooling gave her expertise on how supplements can help with many different illnesses.
  • Integrative medicine uses regular western medicine treatments and combines them with other complementary treatments.
  • Many research studies are showing benefits of integrative medicine therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, nutrition and supplements and stress management.

She also explained that the “gut” or stomach can really affect all other aspects of your body and cause many different illnesses. If you get your stomach issues under control, many other illnesses can improve as well.

So, I decided to see for myself and paid a visit to Dr. Flickema. The cost was only a co-pay with my insurance. The things I wanted to talk to her about included:

  • Hypothyroidism – I have this condition and had recently put on 15 pounds in a very short amount of time. My thyroid was out of balance again and I didn’t realize it fast enough. Then to try to lose the 15 pounds I had gained, I put myself on 1,200 calorie diet for two weeks and lost nothing. That was very frustrating to me and did not make me want to keep dieting.
  • Joint pain – I has also been having some joint pain in my elbow and shoulder area on my right side for about four months. I had hoped it was just a pulled muscle but it just wasn’t getting any better.
  • Stress management – I am mom to three little boys under the age of 6 and had recently started a new job. When I’m stressed, I use food as comfort, which brings us down to weight management.
  • Weight management – I wanted to lose the 15 pounds I recently put on, plus about 25 more. I wanted to lose this weight for myself and for my children.

So during my first visit with Dr. Flickema, we talked for more than an hour. I thought this was really great customer service. We discussed my health issues and questions and came up with a care plan which was comfortable for me. I also had some blood work done, and we discovered I am deficient in Vitamin D. To begin my care plan, I will be doing the following:

  • Taking vitamin D.
  • Starting the Ideal Living with Avera weight management program.
  • Completing six sessions of acupuncture to help with joint pain, stress management and food cravings.
  • Using aromatherapy to help with stress management, increased metabolism, and food cravings.
  • Employing relaxation techniques for stress management and positive thinking to help with weight loss.

Check out my next blog so I can update you on how my care plan is working out!

Subscribe to our

wellness e-newsletter

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

© 2021 Avera Health, Sioux Falls, SD. All Rights Reserved.