The Use of Integrative Medicine in Pediatric Care

Pediatric Integrative Medicine

While ‘integrative medicine (IM)’, is still a growing and relatively new field, the use of its practices is commonplace. Whether it is by creation of a sleep routine and regimen for sleep, use of botanicals for prevention of disease in addition to conventional medications, or regular meditative rituals, parents are quite informed. As a medical professional, the science and evidence behind some of these interventions and their appropriate use, efficacy, and safety are of utmost import and essential to providing precise care.

The World Health Organization defines health as “complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The use of integrative practices is essential for the prevention of disease as well for overall wellbeing because integrative medicine combines the most up-to-date allopathic, e.g. conventional, practices with the most researched and evidence-based complementary practices.

Concierge Pediatrics is a type of pediatric care that offers a personalized approach to healthcare. This model of care provides families with 24/7 access to a pediatrician on-call, as well as longer appointment times and a focus on preventive care. Integrative medicine fits well within this model of care, as it allows pediatricians to offer a range of treatment options that are tailored to each child’s unique needs.

This unique approach to medicine really does combine the best of the two worlds that in prior years seemed to be competing against each other. As seen in this excellent illustration by Duke University, the seven categories of emphasis in IM include movement and rest, nutrition, personal development, nature, relationships, spirituality, and the mind-body connection. This includes several areas for the physician, parent, and child to discuss how the role of food plays in the child’s life, how often is the beautiful nature we are surrounded with utilized, how family and friend relationships play a role in mental health and overall wellness, etc.

The role of integrative medicine in the health and wellness of a child can be to create a better template in healthcare, personalized to each child’s needs, for a full, happy and resilient life.

Take the first step towards improving your child’s health with pediatric integrative medicine. Call The Village Doctor at (650) 851-4747 to learn more about the practice  today.

Shweta Sujit, MD MPH, March 3, 2023