Mind, Body, and Spirit Medicine in Colorado

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by Rebecca Louzan

The mind-body connection is a concept upon which the world’s oldest philosophies and practice of medicine were built. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic Medicine are examples. Although conventional medicine was largely developed with a reductionist approach that strictly separated the mind and body, we are becoming increasingly observant that something is missing in our medical services, and are seeking to fill the void in our health care.

The NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine released data in 2008 related to America’s use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Data indicated that four in ten American adults use some form of CAM, and that most of them are highly educated individuals.

What is CAM and IM?

Conventional medicine (commonly referred to as allopathic or “Western” medicine) targets specific diseases and illnesses, and utilizes primarily pharmaceutical and surgical interventions to address patient conditions. The conventional medical model focuses upon the patient’s physical wellbeing as an isolated entity.

Alternative medicine refers to the use of therapies that deviate from those taught in conventional medical schools as a replacement for conventional medicine. Complementary medicine is the use of alternative therapies in addition to conventional medicine. Integrative medicine (IM) is the functional combination of conventional, alternative, and complementary medicine with mental and behavioral healthcare, and targets the health and wellness of an individual’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental wellbeing.

What kinds of CAM and IM services are there in Colorado?

In Northern Colorado communities and metro Denver, numerous CAM and IM resources and services are easily available.

• University of Colorado Hospital: The Center for Integrative Medicine (TCIM), Denver o A medically supervised model that provides individualized plans of care through careful assessment and monitoring of appropriate CAM approaches. Services at the Center include Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, herb and supplement consultation, massage therapy, mind/body therapy, nutritional counseling, spiritual counseling, yoga, and Tai Chi. • McKee Medical Center, Loveland o Hosts a Community Wellness program and a Wellspring Library that offers resources in individual wellbeing such as expanded oncology resources and health and wellness literature. Offers Yoga and Soulplay Art Therapy support groups for oncology patients as well as wellness consultations and patient-centered educational classes. • Longmont United Hospital (LUH) Health Center of Integrated Therapies (HCIT), Longmont o Awarded the 2004 Spirit of Planetree Best Practice Award for Integrative Medicine. Practices a patient-centered care model including the use of Integrative Medicine and a variety of therapies that complement modern conventional medicine. Offers acupuncture, manual lymphatic drainage, massage therapy, medical herbalism, nutrition therapy, yoga, meditation, Zumba® and Healthy Steps™ classes. All employees are credentialed in the Integrative Medicine therapy that they provide. • Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) Center for Integrative Care, Boulder o Provides complementary care services for oncology patients including acupuncture, healing touch, lymphedema therapy, massage therapy, feflexology and Reiki. The Center provides individual wellness and integrative care consultations with a registered nurse and a resource center with volunteer-assisted, confidential research services.
• Swedish Medical Center and Progressive Health Center, Englewood o Offers complementary therapies for oncology patients to ease physical and emotional pain, and to optimize healthcare for all patients through Integrative Medicine, augmenting conventional medicine with alternative approaches. Therapies include acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, healing rhythms, herbal consultation,life energy flow Tai Yo, massage therapy, meditation, mind-body therapies, nutrition counseling, reflexology, Yoga therapy and music therapy. • Lutheran Medical Center Bridges Integrative Health, Denver o Offers a variety of services to enrich mind, body and spirit and to integrate rich healing traditions with the latest in preventive care in a healing environment. Services include acupuncture, therapeutic massage, holistic counseling, exercise coaching, nutrition counseling, healing touch and classes such as yoga, tai chi and stress management. Bridges blends conventional medical treatments with complementary traditions to enhance patients’ health and wellbeing.
• Poudre Valley Health Services o Offers medical expertise and complementary care options to support body, mind and spirit. Integrative services include cancer massage, healing touch, lymphedema therapy, pet therapy, music therapy and board-certified medical acupuncture. The Enhance Wellness program teaches lifestyle strategies in nutrition, activity and mindset to achieve optimum wellness. Twenty Three Trees, the medical spa, provides effective medical esthetic services and massage.

Rebecca Louzan is the Grant & Marketing Director of AlterMed Research Foundation. _ For more information on AlterMed Research Foundation please visit us at www.altermedresearch.org]_