When traditional Western medicine, with its focus on acute illness and diagnosis, is not sufficient, many Greater Gainesville residents turn to a more holistic approach. As the name implies, holistic health care is rooted in an all-inclusive modality to heal the physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental factors that influence a person’s health. By reinvigorating the body’s natural defense mechanisms and healing responses, holistic practitioners aim to treat their patients without the use of pharmaceuticals or invasive surgeries. They get to the root causes of chronic disease and treat the body as one whole system.
Committed to your overall wellness, Gainesville Holistic Healthcare (GHH), is a fully trained and certified team of “healing partners” that employs a variety of techniques and customized care plans that are tailored to each individual patient’s needs. Acupuncture is a very popular and effective tool at their disposal to treat an array of ailments, from acute and chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, cramps, joint stiffness, and sciatica. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture employs the insertion and gentle rotation of thin needles into acupoints on the body in order to free the flow of the body’s vital energy, thus releasing nitric oxide and endorphins as analgesics and stimulating the mood-boosting production of serotonin. The World Health Organization recognizes 28 diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been proven to be an effective form of treatment. Licensed acupuncturists are considered Primary Care Providers in the state of Florida, so there is no need for referral, and some insurance plans will even cover the costs. GHH also uses cupping therapy, where small heated cups are used to induce heavy suction, drawing up skin and superficial muscle tissue to stimulate blood flow, flush out unwanted toxins and assist in proper fluid metabolism. It can even help with cellulite.
Traditional Chinese or Herbal Medicine is often used in conjunction with the above therapies as an appealing alternative to the world of pharmacology, with its dizzying kaleidoscope of side effects and varying degrees of efficacy. GHH ensures that these prescribed Herbal Medicines are rigorously lab tested to meet their high safety and purity standards. Food Therapy is another valuable tool, as food is treated as a medicine, rather than merely sustenance, a distraction or reward. In our convenience culture of fast and processed food, slow cooked and whole, nutrient-dense meals are a powerful antidote to the high-sugar, inflammation-promoting meals that have become the staple of the standard American diet. After an in-depth food evaluation and sugar detox, patients are prescribed specific foods for particular diagnoses to help with fungal elimination, digestive disorders, anxiety and depression, and the root cause of practically every severe illness, chronic and unmitigated inflammation. GHH also offers injection therapies, including homeopathic medications, fat-burning lipotropics, and concentrated doses of B-12. A variety of injections are used to treat neuropathy, lymphatic swelling, spasms, cramps, and joint pain. They even have one specifically tailored for flu season, should the traditional vaccine not be of interest.
Stillpoint Therapy Center and Gainesville Integrative Wellness Center also address the needs of the whole person in order to restore optimal health and balance to their patients’ lives. Teams comprised of nurse practitioners, acupuncturists, physical and massage therapists, and mental health counselors tailor their lifestyle and dietary recommendations for each individual. Recognizing that an imbalance in one sector of health can impact and cause even greater imbalances in other sectors is pivotal to their treatments and success. Western medicine’s vast array of diagnostic tools merge with Chinese medicine, physical therapy, and mental health treatments to facilitate synergy between mind, body and spirit. Similarly, Integrative Medicine at the University of Florida seeks out the underlying conditions, rather than the acute and obvious. It was initially conceived as an extension of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine, which incorporated hospital-based massage, yoga and meditation directly into the patient’s daily regimen. The Integrative Medicine Department develops evidence-based, non-pharmacological health plans that address the needs of the whole person.
For strictly physical therapy needs, ReQuest, Fit for Life, and Kinetix, the latter which works in partnership with the UF Physical Therapy Department, offer up treatment programs unique to each patient’s mobility, recovery and sport-specific needs. With extensive training in both academic and clinical settings, these teams of practitioners deliver world-class, non-surgical solutions with compassionate care and exceptional patient service. The chiropractic world, with its diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misaligned joints, is well represented in town at Chiropractic Solutions of Gainesville and Absolute Health Chiropractic, among others. Massage therapists in town cross the spectrum from barebones, hard-knuckled very affordable options to sports recovery-focused specialists and all the way to upscale relaxing and pampering spa settings. Mental health is never neglected with a variety of psychiatrists and psychotherapists offering patient-centered psychological evaluations and treatments. There are a few EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, practitioners in town who specialize in overcoming PTSD. If you desire to heal the mind, body and spirit and reclaim the balance that has been missing, Greater Gainesville has holistic health care options for you.
For a complete listing of holistic resources visit guidetogreatergainesville.com/directory.
Author- Brandon Duff