National Headache Foundation Recognizes the Value of Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine HeadachesIn a recent report, the National Headache Foundation outlined the clear benefit that integrative medicine can have toward treating and even preventing headaches. As they explain, there are many steps that patients who experience chronic headaches can take to avoid common migraine risk factors, and while modern medicine can certainly provide lasting relief against headaches, many patients find that utilizing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods can be just as effective. Integrative medicine has become extremely popular among many Americans because it takes the best that traditional western medicine has to offer and combines that knowledge with the best CAM techniques to improve a patient’s overall health.

As the National Headache Foundation explains, a person who suffers from chronic headaches has two priorities. First, they must be able to manage and treat a migraine attack when it hits. Second, they must try to help prevent the reoccurrence of some of the attacks. With integrative medicine, the physician can explain various CAM methods to help “balance the nervous system” between the attacks to achieve a “healthy, relaxed body” and can also instruct on a variety of different headache treatment methods should an attack occur. The goal is for the patient to learn how to respond to signs that a headache attack may be imminent and learn how to respond with “exercise, biofeedback or another self-nurturing activity.”

A few examples of CAM therapies that an integrative medicine practitioner may recommend include:

  • Acupuncture or acupressure
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Manipulative procedures
  • Holistic supplements

Integrative medicine is designed to reestablish the traditional patient-physician relationship and help improve and optimize overall health, not just treat a problem. Using headaches as an example, many patients reach out to integrative medicine physicians because they experience chronic headaches but do not have a specific condition, illness, or disease that needs to be treated. These patients benefit from the integrative medicine approach because they learn methods for improving their health and learning how to manage their headaches with a variety of treatments and CAM techniques.

At the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM), we provide board certification to highly qualified and experienced integrative medicine physicians who have demonstrated their mastery of this sought-after medical discipline. To determine if your physician is board certified through the ABOIM, click here. The ABOIM is a member board of the American Board of Physician Specialties®, the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists®.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine