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Mindful : April 2013
health For more resources and repor ting on integrative health go to mindful.org/health The power of integrative medicine doesn’t just lie in techniques. Accord- ing to Dr. David Spiegel, director of the Center on Stress and Health at Stanford University, pa rt of what’s powerful about any integrative approach is that it helps patients feel more involved, more in con- trol and responsible for their own health care. It also allows for more time with a medical practitioner. “The average doc- tor,” says Spiegel, “spends seven minutes per patient a nd the average integrative practitioner spends 30 minutes.” “The medical care system in this coun- try is broken,” says Dr. Jeffrey Brantley, director of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. “One of the ways it’s broken is that both people in that seven-minute exchange—the patient and the doctor—are being short-changed. Many factors weave together to create this problem: our medical culture, our national view of health, our reimburse- ment models.” The fee-for-ser vice reimbursement approach is a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system. It pays doctors for ser vices supplied. It does not evaluate the Read/Watch/Click Leaves Falling Gently: Living Fully with Serious & Life- Limiting Illness through Mindfulness, Compassion & Connectedness by Susan Bauer-Wu Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief: Guided Practices for Reclaiming Your Body and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Nor thrup Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic by Jeffrey Brantley Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, documentar y, released October 2012 For information on Sudarshan Kriya for veterans, visit Project Welcome Home Troops www.pwht.org For information on TFT and Shad Meshad’s work with veterans, visit ww w.nv f.org To find an integrative health care center near you, visit the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine www.imconsortium.org quality of their care, as measured by the health of their patients. This approach stems from a health care system that responds to health problems more than it prevents them from occurring in the first place. “ Disease management” tends to outweigh “health care” in such a model. But cha nge is afoot. “The system is shifting,” says Dr. Adam Perlman, execu- tive director of the Duke Center for Inte- grative Health. “ We’re seeing much more emphasis on prevention and lifestyle. It’s an exciting time for integrative health.” It was a friend of Stacy’s who helped the Brindises solve their unexplained infertility. She was a nurse in an obstetri- cian’s office and she told Stacy that she had met many women who had used acupuncture successfully when they were trying to get pregna nt. Despite some misgivings about the little she knew about acupuncture—namely, that it involved a lot of tiny needles—Stacy booked an appointment at the Acupunc- ture and Chinese Medical Center in Edina, Minnesota. “My first surprise was that the doctor spent a good hour and a half with me,” Stacy says. “She asked me detailed ques- tions about my eating habits, stress levels, and lifestyle. She took the time to get to know all of my habits so I could make choices that were more conducive to pregnancy. Her assessing my overall well- being made me feel really comfortable and taken care of.” The acupuncturist advised once-a - week acupuncture sessions and dietar y adjustments. Five weeks later, Stacy got her second surprise: She was pregnant. Stacy and Mike welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world in November. ● 38% Approximately 38% of U.S . adults aged 18 years and over use some form of complementar y and alternative medicine, according to a nationwide government sur vey released in December 2008. Emma Seppala is associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University and a research scientist and honorary fellow with the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. 40 mindful April 2013