Laura Szymanski, left, a medical assistant with Beaumont’s integrative medicine program, takes blood from Howard Sikora, 66, of Farmington Hills. Beaumont’s integrative medicine program has expanded to its West Bloomfield clinic.

Laura Szymanski, left, a medical assistant with Beaumont’s integrative medicine program, takes blood from Howard Sikora, 66, of Farmington Hills. Beaumont’s integrative medicine program has expanded to its West Bloomfield clinic.

Photo provided by Beaumont Health System


Beaumont expands integrative medicine program to WB

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 15, 2017

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Integrative medicine is a type of medical practice where patients are encouraged to take their health into their own hands. Now, West Bloomfield residents will have that chance at Beaumont Hospital.

Beaumont Hospital is expanding its integrative medicine program to its West Bloomfield clinic, located at 6900 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield.

“Integrative medicine is the science of combining multiple therapies to enhance health,” said Maureen Anderson, medical director of Beaumont’s integrative medicine program. “The therapies can be anything — it’s not either/or; it’s both.”

Integrative medicine takes traditional medicine, like pharmaceuticals, and combines it with not-so-traditional treatments, like acupuncture or yoga therapy. Integrative medicine seeks to treat the root of the problem, not the symptoms. 

“It’s really putting the patient back in the driver’s seat so they can be in charge of their own health,” said Anderson. “We’re getting to the root cause — there’s a lot of emphasis on lifestyle, on nutrition, movement, stress, relationships and sleep.” 

Integrative medicine is not alternative medicine, said Gail Patricolo, administrative director of Beaumont’s integrative medicine program. 

“The point is to help the patient safely integrate evidence-based (nontraditional) medicine with traditional medicine, like mind-body therapies,” said Patricolo. “Alternative medicine means that the patient is leaving the health system and seeking alternatives.”

Patients can come to Beaumont’s clinic on their own or through a referral from their doctor. 

Anderson said she sees patients for a range of issues, from psychological issues to physical ones.

“Pain is big, but we see people with gastrointestinal issues, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, cardiac problems,” said Anderson. “People can be healthy, aging or preconception. We do see kids and adults.” 

A lot of patients prefer integrative medicine to traditional medicine, said Patricolo. She thinks it’s because integrative medicine gives patients the chance to feel empowered. 

“Integrative medicine gives us tools to help ourselves,” she said. “There are the things we do to you — like clinical massage or acupuncture — and there are the things we teach the patient to do themselves — like yoga. They come to us, but we’re giving them … things they can do on their own.” 

In West Bloomfield, patients can get on-site acupuncture, massage and yoga, as well as naturopathic medicines.

“There’s a lot of tools in the toolbox other than medicine,” said Anderson. “Getting back to that and what patients can do themselves is the goal. We want to really understand what they want; we’re partnering with the patient and listening to what they want to do and aligning the therapies with the patient’s belief systems.”

Beaumont offers integrative medicine programs at its three other locations in Royal Oak, Clinton Township and Grosse Pointe. 

Find more information at www.beaumont.org/services/integrative-medicine.

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