Field Notes: Integrative Healthcare Symposium
This February, I attended the 15th annual Integrative Healthcare Symposium, where practitioners, researchers, and educators of integrative healthcare offer their latest research and findings. More than 1,500 attendees from across the globe gathered at the Hilton Midtown in cold and blustery New York City.
The typical western medicine approach to health focuses on treating disease after it presents itself, rather than on prevention. Integrative and functional medicine is based in pro-active measures to prevent disease before it starts, and to help patients live optimally with lifestyle changes and personalized care.
Medical Intuition is aligned with the integrative and functional perspectives. By viewing the body’s physical and energetic systems, the intuitive process is designed to assist in uncovering the root causes of imbalances, and help create a personal roadmap to wellness that supports the mind, body and spirit.
The Integrative Healthcare Symposium showcases the top names in the field, including Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Dr. David Perlmutter and other leading-edge authorities. Complementary practices were also included and celebrated, including the IHS “Visionary Award” given to Urban Zen Yoga Therapy founder Rodney Yee, and a wonderful presentation by Dr. Belleruth Naparstek, one of the pioneers of Guided Imagery for wellness.
Dr. Mark Hyman gave an eye-opening presentation on the failures of nutrition science, focusing on how the food industry has co-opted this area with poorly designed studies and biased results. It’s no wonder the U.S. is suffering with diet-related illness and obesity! “Practitioners need to learn to read between the lines,” Dr. Hyman said. “We can’t focus solely on the science, but who’s funding the science or speaking on it.”
Dr. Josh Axe gave a compelling presentation on the ancient approaches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, including the use of herbs, nutrition and energy practices. He stressed that the body possesses the innate ability to heal itself - which is not a new concept, but one that has been part of the human experience for centuries.
For more information on the mind-body approach to healing, click here: Medical Intuition for Healing Workshop
One of the most compelling conversations throughout the symposium was on the rising epidemic of autoimmune diseases and corresponding environmental factors. Dr. David Brady led a distinguished panel of experts on integrative medicine perspectives. In terms of genetics and immunity, he said, “Genes don’t change that quickly. This is about the way our modern environment is dancing with our genes and how it effects our gene expression.”
Studies show that 70 percent of autoimmune disease risk is associated with the person’s environment, whereas 30 percent is associated with their genetics. This includes where we live, the food we eat, and any toxins we may be exposed to. The experts agreed that the microbiome, leaky gut, and leaky blood-brain barriers are critical factors in autoimmune disease.
This topic was further explored by Lyn Patrick, ND, who gave a powerful presentation to a full house on environmental toxicity. She shared recent research and outlined some simple strategies to reduce toxic load, including swapping out plastic containers for glass and stainless steel, using indoor air and drinking water filters and purifiers, switching to organically grown produce, and using unscented, chemical-free personal care products.
For me, the attendees are always the stars at these events! I connected with so many wonderful physicians, practitioners and friends who are passionate about integrative health. One of the most gratifying experiences was meeting doctors who are deeply interested in energetic and biofield health, and who regularly use the services of Medical Intuitives and energy practitioners in their practices. These physicians represent a significant shift in the acceptance and awareness of intuition as a critical skill in modern healthcare.
Until next time -