Integrative medicine offers alternatives at BMC - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Integrative medicine offers alternatives at BMC

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BOSTON (WHDH) - Treating a patient "mind, body and spirit" is the goal of the Program for Integrative Medicine at Boston Medical Center.

"We were seeing as physicians patients were not getting their needs met in many different arenas," said Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett, director of the program at BMC. "Even though they were getting excellent medical care, not all their bodily needs and spiritual needs were being met."

BMC's integrative care program include things like acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy and it's proven to be effective. Massage therapy, for example, has been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone and has become much more accepted as part of a wellness program.

"We understand that things like yoga effect peoples outcomes, increase function, decrease use of pain medication and even less emergency room visits," Barnett said.

Diane Rogers, who suffers from chronic back pain, went to BMC looking for an alternative to surgery and medications.

"I can try and relieve some of my pain by meditation or yoga or coming for a massage," Rogers said.

Acupuncturists say integrative medicine helps treat the whole patient holistically.

"We look at someone's lifestyle, their exercise, give them breathing exercises, look at their diet. It's all about where we can help them be more balanced in their life," said Ellen Silver Highfield, director of acupuncture programs.

While traditional medical care is always going to be effective, integrated care is finding its own success.

"It makes you feel better as a person, your mental health, you feel like you're glowing when you leave, its amazing," Rogers said.

All the classes and clinical services offered by integrative medicine are free or for a modest fee.

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