Welcome to the Exempla Good Samaritan Center for Integrative Medicine blog. We are thrilled to launch our new center housed within the new Medical Pavilion on the Exempla Good Samaritan Campus at 340 Exempla Circle, 2nd floor. We offer therapies such as acupuncture, massage, Healing Touch, nutrition consults, and mind body classes. This fall we will launch a therapeutic yoga program and begin retail offerings with Chinese herbal formulas prescribed by our licensed acupuncturist. In the coming months we will highlight each of our programs but with this first entry I’d like to explore what integrative medicine means and our goals for this blog. We are excited to connect with the community through this new medium.
What is integrative medicine and why is it important enough for EGSMC to create a center dedicated to it? It is common to associate integrative medicine with modalities such as massage, acupuncture, and the use of herbs and supplements, but integrative medicine is much more. It is a way of thinking and being that understands the fundamental interconnection of body, mind, and spirit and thus its most essential practitioner is YOU! Although we support the use of the best treatments from conventional Western medicine, there is equal, if not greater emphasis on your power to influence your physical and mental health as well as spiritual well-being. The fact that the vast majority of illness is lifestyle related means that your empowerment is the major determinant of your health. And even when cure is elusive, integrative medicine believes healing is possible. Empowerment is available to reframe our challenges, to make friends with the present circumstances, to breath, and to realize as Jon Kabat Zinn has said, “if you are still breathing, there is more right with you than wrong.”
The journey towards wellness is not linear, piecemeal, or ever finished. Changes in one part of our life can ripple outward. Starting yoga can help us make dietary changes. We become more sensitive to what we put in our bodies. A recommitment to connecting with the sacred can lead to positive changes in our relationships. Deciding to take time for our self in whatever form – getting a massage, starting a meditation practice, changing our diet, or any activity done with a spirit of self-care and self-compassion can begin a chain reaction of positive changes.
We, at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Exempla Good Samaritan are privileged to partner with you on this journey towards wellness. Perhaps a yoga class, nutrition seminar, or mind body program becomes a spark of inspiration. Maybe you will find a useful recipe or interesting explanation of the benefits of meditation on our blog. The goal of our programs and blog is to empower you to create and maintain health, nurture your body and care for your spirit. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
– Wael Garas M.D.