Old is New Again, Post-Modern Medicine: An Introduction
Mind-Body-Spirit medicine, holistic medicine, integrative medicine, functional medicine:
while these words sound new and cutting edge—and they are—in reality they also describe approaches that are not new but old. The archetypal family doc, called back then a GP (General Practitioner), who delivered four generations of babies, who knew the stories of his town, the people’s strengths and failings and challenges, practiced holistic medicine. He (less often, she) had a context in which to place his patient’s lives, saw them as individuals, who were also likely his neighbors and his friends. Patients were not—as all too often happens now—reduced to numbers on a lab report or the few words of a diagnosis.
The average duration of a visit with a Family Doc in the US ranges from 7 – 13 minutes. The average Family Doc will see thirty to sixty patients each day, running two or three exam rooms simultaneously. These visits often reduce to the following: the patient presents symptoms, the doctor knows that these symptoms equate to a diagnosis or, more accurately, a diagnosis code, (it is these codes that the doctor will submit to the insurance company for payment, and whether it took three minutes or ninety to generate that code, the payment to the medical office does not vary). Finally this diagnosis is then translated into a prescription pharmaceutical drug. Seven minutes per visit, likely a prescription for the drug store, and the patient is on their way: the names may change, but the process is bankrupt.
At Haven, we have rejected this formula. An initial visit at Haven is scheduled for a minimum of ninety minutes. We embrace the vision of accessible, holistic medical care that places the individual at the center. As people and as patients, we are more complicated than a four or five digit code that defines a diagnosis and gives us a label; we have histories, connections, disappointments and triumphs, and it is not the goal at Haven to to get patients to not be sick, but to be well. Our practitioners look to underlying causes rather than easy placement of a band aid on a symptom.
Our goal is to help patients find their optimal health through the integration of complementary and traditional medicines. The practitioners here do indeed write prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs, for these can be valuable tools in the quest for health, but they do this last instead of first, employing other approaches—be it nutritional guidance, the use of supplements, body therapies, mind•body•spirit medicine and more—for much as the medical industry would like it to be so, we believe medicine is not simply a science. It is the artistic application of a body of (evolving, fluid, moving forward, sliding backwards, moving forward in a different direction) scientific knowledge to each and every patient. There are as many formulas as there are people.
At Haven, we work to educate and empower patients. The practitioners here are well-versed in a wide array of modalities, and have at their disposal wide and varied bodies of knowledge about illness and health, but this is only half the story. Each patient has their own equally valuable contributions with their knowledge of their own lives, their histories, their particular goals and directions. At Haven, health is a goal undertaken by both the doctor and the patient together, as a team.
In keeping with that philosophy, patients know that during a visit at Haven there are only two people, doctor and patient, in the room. We mean this both in a literal sense, and in a broader way: we do not, for instance, welcome pharmaceutical representatives though our doors. We buy our own pens, sticky pads, and lunches because we believe the pharmaceutical industry should work to make medications affordable rather than giving doctors freebies. If one of our doctors prescribes a medication, it is because it is the most appropriate medication, not the drug last marketed to her. She does not depend on big-pharma reps, with six weeks training, to keep her up to date on the efficacy of the latest drugs. Her time is best spent with patients, not sales reps. Nor do we directly process insurance, or opt-in for Medicare (for more on our insurance and Medicare policies, please visit our FAQ page), which can limit both the duration and content of patient visits.
From the moment you enter our lobby, you are surrounded by art, comfortable furniture, and soothing music. Books and magazines that encourage readers to think instead of believe litter the waiting room. Education and knowledge are essential for taking charge of your health.
In our therapeutic suite, a massage chair will help you let go of outside stresses and a visit to our salt lounge can address many problems: stress, skin and respiratory problems, among others. Our far infrared sauna supports detoxification. Prescribed therapeutic interventions such as nutrient IVs, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), SCENAR, and pulsed magnet therapy, round out the tools available to you as you embark on your healing journey.
At Haven, old-fashioned medicine is new, albeit updated for the 21st century, and informed by the powerful array of modalities and approaches available to the modern doctor willing to think outside the box, without abandoning the value still within that box. Health is not a noun, it is a verb, it is a process and it begins with listening. Join the revolution….