Dr. Mimi Guarneri: Integrative Medicine is Good for People, the Planet & the Economy

Integrative MedicineDr. Mimi Guarneri, accomplished cardiologist and founder of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, ardently supports the implementation of Western allopathic principals − surgery and medication − when they are needed. Her preferred model for healthcare is designed to reduce the need for allopathic intervention through the principals of Integrative Medicine. To do so, she says, physicians can − and should − flip the old model of healthcare upside-down, with allopathic treatment at the apex of a “pyramid” whose foundation is constructed of preventative measures that focus on lifestyle and environment.

Physicians must be more mindful of the fact that the interaction between lifestyle/environment factors and a person’s genes contribute to illness, says Dr. Guarneri, a founding member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM). As many as 70-90 percent of chronic disease development is dependent on lifestyle and environment, and taking the proper steps to create a beneficial lifestyle can significantly reduce the occurrence of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others. This is the fundamental basis of Integrative Medicine − treating the whole person, enabling a healthy mind and body through:

  • Physical activity
  • Sleep and restoration
  • Environmental mindfulness
  • Energy system balance
  • Spiritual and social balance
  • Emotional and mental balance
  • Stress resilience

In addition, Dr. Guarneri espouses a healthy diet, clean water and clean, fresh air as fundamentally proactive steps toward better health. It is significant that Dr. Guarneri places such importance on the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, because these particular health factors are not often emphasized within the allopathic model. The current model, she says, is “great” at treating acute injuries and illnesses. However, if greater attention were paid to creating a greater resilience to stress through the cultivation of a beneficial lifestyle and environment, billions of dollars could be saved each year in healthcare costs.

The ABOIM® was founded to enable Integrative Medicine physicians to demonstrate their proficiency in the core competencies required to provide the best possible integrative care. To learn more about the ABOIM, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties®, the official multi-specialty board certification body of the American Association of Physician Specialists, Inc.


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