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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