American doctors have a bad rap for over-prescribing, but the pop-a-pill mentality appears to be rapidly changing with physicians embracing non-pharmaceutical traditions, including dietary modification, yoga and therapeutic massage.
Lee Memorial Health System now has an entire practice dedicated to exploring holistic practices.
The Lee Physician Group Integrative Medicine practice combines the skills of Dr. Heather Auld, a board-certified ob/gyn who specializes in integrative medicine, with those of Teresa Spano, an N.D., or doctorate of naturopathic medicine. Their treatment plans include non-pharmaceutical approaches to disease management, including homeopathy (a philosophy based on the belief that the body can heal itself), traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, massage, nutritional counseling, acupuncture and hormone therapy.
“Over the years we’ve heard more and more from our patients that that is something that some of them are looking for,” says Lee Memorial spokeswoman Mary Briggs. “We needed to recognize how medicine is evolving and be part of that evolution.”
The practice is self-pay, as most insurance companies do not pay for integrative treatments. It is suited for patients who have struggled to lose weight or manage chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and want a different approach, Briggs says. Auld and Spano’s strategies could also help wean people from prescriptions for chronic conditions if they succeed in lifestyle changes. It is not meant to replace—or contradict—the care of mainstream physicians.
Dr. Auld will give a presentation tonight at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. registration) explaining integrative medicine. It takes place at: Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce Board Room, 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs. Seating is limited and reservations are requested by calling 561-5080.
The practice is currently located at 16281 Bass Road in Fort Myers but will move to 26800 U.S. 41 S. in Bonita Springs this summer.
For more information, visit http://www.leememorial.org/lee-physician-group/specialties/integrative-medicine.asp.