At Brain Body Wellness and Biofeedback, PLLC, we take an integrative and comprehensive approach. If you have read our website, you probably have seen those terms used excessively. This is a concept I am incredibly passionate about, and have been interested in for most of my life.
It is an important concept to understand as we look to the future of health care. Our model of healthcare in the United States is shifting from a fee-for-service model to a greater focus on healthcare outcomes. Because of this shift, there has been a strong focus on integrating care. By integrating care, I do not just mean integrated mental health and physical healthcare. This also includes integrating pharmaceutical, dental, vision, nutritional, and other types of healthcare. This shift is occurring because of the incredible amount of research showing the efficacy and benefit of addressing a person as a whole.
Up until recently, most of physical health care (e.g. your primary care physician) has focused on a "biomedical model". What that means is that a couple of decades ago when you went in to see your physical health doctor, they would focus on a biological cause for diseases or disorders and ONLY treat that cause.
" Biomedical model.... focus on a biological cause for diseases or disorders and ONLY treat that cause "
Let me give a couple hypothetical examples. Jane goes to see her doctor because of chronic pain occurring throughout her body. She is diagnosed with fibromyalgia and is given a medication to treat this condition. Bob is diagnosed with diabetes and is instructed to take insulin daily. Marie sees her doctor for depression, who tells her it is due to a "chemical imbalance" and prescribes Prozac.
The problem with the biomedical model is it only addresses ONE PIECE of the person, and leaves out essential factors that may be underlying or contributing to diseases and disorders. Often times when only treating biology we see poor outcomes or more frequent relapse. More recently, there was a shift in healthcare which took a "biopsychosocial approach." What this means is the focus shifted from ONLY BIOLOGY to the WHOLE PERSON. In addition to considering biological factors, providers now also consider the person's lifestyle (support system, stressors, sleep, self-care, engagement in activities, diet, exercise), psychological factors (how the person views themself, the world, and others and ability to cope with stress), AND behavioral ways to manage symptoms. Lets use the same three individuals from above and look at how their treatment changes.
" Biopsychosocial Approach.... the focused shifted from ONLY BIOLOGY to the WHOLE PERSON "
Jane (diagnosed with fibromyalgia) is given a medication AND follows up with a therapist who teaches her ways to improve her quality of life. Her therapist identifies she has a significant history of trauma and experiences frequent conflict in her marriage. She refers her for trauma and couple's therapy.
Bob (diagnosed with diabetes) takes insulin daily AND meets with a nutritionist to identify ways he may be able to manage his diabetes without insulin. He also meets with a behavioral therapist who teaches him ways to change his exercise and diet habits. He works with a therapist who helps him to more effectively manage stress and helps him to improve his quality of life.
Marie (diagnosed with depression) is referred to a psychologist by her primary care physician. The psychologist diagnoses her with mild depression, and uses a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to treat her depression. She has identified her cognitive schemas which keep her depressed, leaned ways to identify distorted patterns of thinking, and has developed ways to give her thoughts less significance. After practicing these skills for several months, Marie's depression remits without the need for pharmaceutical interventions. (Note: Should Marie's depression been severe, the psychologist would likely have recommended medication intervention IN ADDITION to therapy).
As you can see, an integrated approach takes into account ALL ASPECTS of a person, and is the future of our healthcare. This is why our care is the care of the future. When you are seen at Brain Body Wellness, PLLC, the focus is on treating you as a PERSON, and NOT you as a mind, or you as a body. Instead of focusing on pharmaceutical interventions, we focus on daily habits, nutrition and exercise habits, thinking patterns, and biological responses (through biofeedback). The research has shown this type of care is more effective, and protects against relapse. The comprehensive care offered is second to none and truly exemplifies the gold standard of care.