If you are troubled by pain, discomfort, or restricted mobility in your neck, back, shoulders, joints, or musculoskeletal problems anywhere in the body, contact us to make an appointment. Because we do not perform surgery, we keep current with all innovative, minimally invasive therapies. We focus on hands-on, practical treatments, such as epidural injections, acupuncture, and PEMF. Our primary goal is to make you feel better as quickly as possible.
We have five conveniently located offices in East Meadow, Great Neck, Lawrence, Huntington, and Lindenhurst, from which we provide our patients with skilled, compassionate care. We pride ourselves on offering a broad range of therapeutic options, often in combination, and tailoring our rehabilitative program to each patient.
What Does a “Holistic” Approach Mean in Medicine?
The word holistic is spelled “wholistic” at times since it indicates an inclusive approach. Holistic healthcare providers treat the whole person rather than their discrete parts and involve the mind and body in the healing process.
The Tenets of Holistic Medicine
Because holistic medicine considers all aspects of a person — body, mind, spirit, and emotions — to be interconnected, holistic practitioners, like the doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, work to balance all these aspects.
The underlying belief is that all parts of the body and mind depend on one another to function at full capacity and that dysfunction of one can negatively impact the functioning of others, resulting in poor general health. The principles of holistic medicine include:
- Everyone has innate healing powers
- A person is not defined by their disease or dysfunction
- Doctors and patients collaborate in the healing process
- Healing involves examining all aspects of the patient’s life (e.g. sleep habits, digestive problems, work conditions, emotional stress)
- Healing must address the underlying condition, not just the symptoms
At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, we encourage patients to eat a healthy diet, take appropriate nutritional supplements, exercise, eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking or alcohol or drug abuse, perform relaxation techniques, and get the proper amount of sleep. Above all, we encourage our patients to take an active role in maintaining their health.
Examples of complementary medicine include:
- Dietary supplements
- Guided imagery
- Music therapy
- Tai Chi
According to the Pew Research Center, our physiatrists are by no means alone in touting the benefits of integrative medicine, i.e., using some form of complementary or alternative medicine in coordination with traditional therapies. Approximately half of Americans have used alternative medicine treatments instead of or alongside conventional treatments.
Complementary Treatment Methods in General Use
Many patients who come to our offices for treatment with spinal or musculoskeletal problems are already quite familiar with how helpful complementary medicine treatments can be since they have used them in other areas of their life. It is unusual to find a patient who has not used one of the above complementary therapies to assist in one or more of the following areas:
- Weight loss
- Sleep problems
- Depression or anxiety
- Digestive issues
- Skin problems or hair loss
- Sexual dysfunction
- Aches and pains
- Balance issues
- Increased mobility and productivity
- Mood elevation
The Three Types of Complementary Medicine
There are three basic types of complementary medicine: nutritional, psychological, and physical.
For some of our patients, using one of these types is preferable; others are open to using all three methods to achieve improved health.
Nutritional Complementary Medicine
All over the world, people have historically used herbs and other plants to relieve symptoms and enhance quality of life. Some that have come into mainstream use are:
- Aloe for burns, psoriasis, and other irritations of the skin
- Probiotics to maintain digestive health and counteract the side effects of antibiotics
- Melatonin for insomnia
- Ginko for forgetfulness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Chamomile for sleeplessness, anxiety, digestive issues, and allergies
- Echinacea to fight cold and flu symptoms
- Flaxseed to lower cholesterol and increase fiber intake
- Peppermint oil to treat digestive problems
- Soy to treat menopausal symptoms, memory problems, and high cholesterol
- St. John’s wort to treat depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders
- Tea tree oil to treat acne, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, thrush, cold sores, and dandruff
- Medical marijuana for HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy, severe chronic pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease
Do Nutritional Supplements
Carry Any Risks?
While many people swear by these supplements, using them with other medications may cause serious complications. We recommend consulting your doctor(s) to understand the possible risks and benefits. If our doctors recommend a particular supplement, we will ensure that you understand any associated risks.
Psychological Complementary Medicine
Because the mind-body connection is undeniable, engaging brain power can assist in healing. Scientific research has proven that stress can also contribute to ill health in the form of panic attacks, palpitations, breathing difficulties, headaches, high blood pressure, digestive problems, sexual dysfunction, and a weakened immune system.
It is wise to consider psychological forms of complementary medicine to combat physical problems. While psychotherapy may be the first kind of psychological treatment that comes to mind, there are many other ways to engage your mind to assist in solving physical problems. These include:
- Meditation in which you concentrate on your breathing with the help of a mantra to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness
- Biofeedback, in which you learn to control some of your body’s functions, such as your heart rate, by using electrical sensors that help you receive information about your body.
- Hypnosis to help you uncover buried causes of distress
- Spirituality in which prayer or other practices help you inhabit a peaceful mental space
- Art therapies (painting, sculpting, music, poetry) in which an artistic medium enables you to express your feelings while maintaining a sense of pleasure and control
- Counseling in which you are advised and guided by a trained therapist to improve your mental health by changing your thinking and behavior
- Mindfulness in which you learn to maintain a gentle moment-to-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surroundings
- Visual imaging in which you picture, for example, your cells being nourished or fighting off an invasive infection, or your bones knitting after a fracture
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in which you learn to channel your thoughts and behavior in healthier ways
- Group therapy in which you learn about yourself through others’ reactions to you, your reaction to others, and through the changes, you help one another make
- Support groups for eating disorders, gambling or substance abuse, returning veterans, survivors of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, etc.
- Autogenic training to master the art of self-hypnosis to relieve stress
Although each of these psychological therapies has a common goal, they differ in how they elicit the desired response of calm, ease, and increased receptivity. Because they are administered in different ways, one or another may better fit with your lifestyle or belief system. In any case, developing a sense of control over your emotions and your physical well-being can have a positive impact on your healing process.
Physical Complementary Medicine
There are many ways that physical manipulation and personal movement can aid in improving health. Watching children at play can give you a perspective on how many ways there are to move your body just for the pleasure it brings. Many types of physical complementary medicine work under the same principle, showing you how to move to release tension, improve balance, increase core strength, and stretch tired muscles.
Complementary medicine always takes into account the inherent connection between the body and mind. These physical therapies also involve mental concentration, calm, and mindfulness. Physical types of complementary treatments, many of which have their roots in Eastern medicine, include:
- Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy in which a skilled practitioner inserts tiny needles into your skin at carefully mapped points to increase the uninterrupted flow of energy (Qi) through your body to alleviate pain and increase healing.
- Yoga is a Hindu discipline in which you relax and regain health through breath control, meditation, and assuming specific postures
- Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese discipline of meditative movements practiced as exercises
- Reiki, in which the practitioner’s hands deliver energy to your body, improving the flow and balance of your energy to support healing.
- Massage, during which the practitioner rubs and kneads your muscles and joints to relieve tension and pain.
- Dance therapy in which dance is a way to free the body to move in healthy, self-affirming ways
Traditional Medicine: How It
Differs from Complementary Medicine
Traditional, (conventional) medicine in the U.S. is medicine as it has been practiced in the Western world for generations, including visits with family doctors, and visits to specialists in various fields, such as ophthalmologists and gastroenterologists, as well as all types of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, and approved medications.
At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our doctors specialize in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), concentrating on acute and chronic problems of the spine and musculoskeletal system. In our discipline, we have been at the head of the line when it comes to blending complementary treatments with conventional ones, especially because as physiatrists we do all of our healing without surgery.
Since the 1940s when physiatry became a medical discipline, physiatrists have investigated and welcomed the healing properties of complementary medicine. You can expect to be offered a broad range of traditional and complementary options, often in combination.
Conditions We Treat with Both Traditional and Complementary Medicine
We use several conventional treatments at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, all of them minimally invasive, including:
- Epidural steroid injections
- Facet injections (for the small facet joints of the spine)
- Trigger point injections
- Radiofrequency ablation
- SI joint injections
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma)
- Physical therapy
We also use some complementary treatments, including:
- PEMF Therapy (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy) uses safe, natural electromagnetic fields to provide a wide range of therapeutic effects
We also encourage our patients to make use of some of the other complementary treatments mentioned earlier to promote healing.
Used alone or in combination, our traditional and complementary therapies have helped hundreds of patients find relief from numerous spinal and musculoskeletal problems, such as:
- ACL tears
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Compression fractures
- Herniated spinal discs
- Muscular pain of strains or sprains
- Pinched nerves
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Spinal fractures
Contact Our Experienced Long Island Physiatrists Today
Whether you have been injured on a playing field, during a fall, in an auto accident,
or are suffering chronic pain from a disease condition or for some other reason, our talented physiatrists are here to help improve your quality of life. Contact us now so we can help you feel better as soon as possible.