Introducing the MedStar Health Center for Integrative Medicine:
Patient-Centered Care Focused on Your Health And Healing
A new initiative at MedStar Health designed to improve patient outcomes by treating the whole person. Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine with scientifically supported integrative approaches such as acupuncture, meditation and other mind-body therapies. Proven to be beneficial in the treatment of patients with a wide range of conditions—from cancer to orthopedic disorders to many common women’s issues—integrative medicine addresses not only physical symptoms, but also the psychological, social and spiritual impact your condition may have on you.
An approach to care that is growing nationwide, integrative medicine puts you at the center of your care and addresses the full range of influences that impact your health. Our specialists use a personalized strategy that starts with an assessment of your unique conditions and circumstances to determine the most appropriate course of treatment for you. An individualized treatment plan is then developed to allow you to regain and maintain optimum health.
Located on the campus of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, the MedStar Health Center for Integrative Medicine provides care intended to integrate with—not replace—more conventional medical treatments. From longstanding therapies, such as acupuncture and massage therapy, to mind-body methods, such as mindfulness-based approaches, our specialists work with each patient to determine the services that are most appropriate for you. Our services include:
New patients undergo an initial evaluation by an Integrative Medicine practitioner, and a personalized, realistic plan will be crafted by the patient and practitioner. This will often involve treatment and/or consultation with other Integrative Medicine practitioners at the Center. The practitioner will communicate with the your referring physician, as this is an important part of the integration of whole-person care.
Massage therapy is an evidence-based practice that originated from a historical recognition of the power of touch and manual medicine to contribute to the health and healing of the entire being - body, mind, and spirit. Massage therapy has been demonstrated to reduce pain and suffering, promote relaxation in the body and mind, improve sleep and circulation and boost mood without negative side-effects. It is a healing modality that can be used to promote general health, improve quality of life during illness, as well as to promote recovery during injury rehabilitation.
At the Center for Integrative Medicine ,we offer sessions uniquely customized to fit the needs of each individual while drawing from many massage modalities including Swedish, deep-tissue, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, orthopedic, and rehabilitative techniques.
Acupuncture was developed in China more than 2,000 years ago as part of a whole system of medicine, based on a unique understanding of health and disease. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, illness results from imbalances of energy that normally flows throughout your body. The use of acupuncture, which involves inserting very thin needles into precise points in the body, helps to restore balance to your system and promote healing. Acupuncture has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of many conditions, including pain, stress, anxiety, cancer treatment side effects, and other medical illnesses. Most individuals experience acupuncture treatments as very relaxing and often sleep during their treatments.
Mindfulness training helps people learn how to respond more skillfully to stress, cope with medical and psychological conditions and promote a better quality of life. It involves developing the ability to experience an intentional, present-moment awareness through mindfulness meditation practices. Highly researched since it was introduced in this country more than 35 years ago, it has proven to be effective in improving difficulties in multiple areas of health and wellness. Mindfulness classes are offered here at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, and one-on-one mindfulness training is available through our Integrative Medicine Center.
These may include holistic mindfulness-based approaches for stress and pain management, mind- body therapies, guided imagery, and cognitive behavior therapy.
Nutrition and wellness counseling at our center is personalized to help prevent chronic disease and to enhance wellness. During a consultation, you and your counselor will explore all the factors that are affecting your level of health and wellness, including diet, exercise and movement, environment, sleep, stress and social support. Based on these factors, your counselor will create personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, as well as recommendations for how to create sustainable lifestyle changes that will put you on the path to greater health and well-being.
Acute stress is good and necessary for survival and performance; chronic stress, however, is not. Stress affects every system in the human body and contributes to most illness, especially chronic diseases. It can increase inflammation, suppresses the immune system, inhibit optimal thinking and performance and can lead to poor behavioral and lifestyle choices. While it is impossible to eliminate stress entirely, it is possible to learn how to manage and respond to it in a more healthful way.
In stress management consultations, the practitioner will help you identify main sources of stress, understand the stress response in the body and learn positive coping techniques. This will include mind-body skills such as breathing and meditation, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and autogenics. By teaching how to reduce stress and increase relaxation, stress management consultations will support patients in all areas of positive behavior change.
Effective and permanent behavior change is challenging. However, we know that successful self-changing individuals use some similar processes and coping skills, based on where they are in their readiness to change. Utilizing motivational interviewing and other evidence-based approaches, the practitioner helps you identify specific achievable goals, which may include changes in nutrition, diet, exercise and other behaviors, and supports you in attaining them through your own personalized program of action.
Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing. It can help alleviate physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual stress by clearing blocks in the energy flow in your body. It is a gentle, yet powerful hands-on therapy that works to bring the body back into balance so that healing can occur. During a Reiki session, you remain fully clothed, with the exception of your shoes. You rest comfortably on a massage-type table while the Reiki practitioner places their hands on or just above your body.
The MedStar Health Center for Integrative Medicine is proud to offer mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) classes, innovative eight-week courses designed to help you reduce stress and improve your quality of life.
The practice of mindfulness-based stress reduction is highly respected in the medical community today. This course, modeled after the courses that have been offered at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center for more than 30 years, consists of a free introductory class followed by eight weekly classes and one day-long workshop.
A highly participatory course, it includes:
Stan Eisenstein, MSW, is the founder and principal teacher of the Columbia Insight Meditation Group. A graduate of the Meditation Teacher Training Institute, he has been meditating for more than 25 years.
The cost of the eight-week class series plus the daylong retreat is $550 and registration in advance is required. Classes are held on the campus of MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.
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