Integrative medicine is gaining a lot of following over the past decade, since many testimonials of people who have received healing attest to the power and efficacy of this medical practice. As information technology continues to advance, more people get to know and understand the alternative treatments available for them to address health concerns that seem untreatable which conventional medicine.
To simply define integrative medicine, it is the marriage of conventional medical treatment and complementary or alternative therapies while involving the patient in the healing process. The integrative doctor, meanwhile, takes into consideration all the factors that influence the total well-being of the patient—physical, mental, emotional and even the community that surrounds the patient.
The interaction of the patient and the practitioner in the healing process plays a big role in achieving their goal to gain back the optimum health of the patient. It cannot be set aside that the patient gets to genuinely trust the integrative doctor as they progress in the course of the treatment since the patient becomes more open about his or her life—habits, lifestyle, attitude, character and practices, among others.
With this kind of communication, the practitioner gets to recognize all the factors that might have led to the patient’s disease or health problems.
Meanwhile, in the country today, there are a number of integrative medicine clinics that you can check, like the Holistic Integrative Care Center on Pasong Tamo, Makati City. The HICC is a medical facility that offers revolutionary and multidimensional approach to patients; taking account of the whole person; and addressing mind, body and spirit, and all other aspects involved. The HICC makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative, to provide patients with the best treatment possible.
Dr. Imelda S. Edodollon, founder and medical director of HICC, also experienced and witnessed the value of integrative medicine before she established her clinic. It was at the time when her father was diagnosed with multiple, organ failure in 2012.
“My father was very compliant with his medications, so when I learned about his condition, I asked what went wrong?” I felt helpless knowing that my father, who spent his life taking care of me and my siblings, was lying in a hospital, uncertain if he can survive, since the mortality rate of multiple, organ failure is 52 percent two days after diagnosis. I am a doctor, and at that point, I cannot do anything for him using the knowledge I learned from medicine,” Edodollon shared.
Realizing the cost of her family’s ordeal on physical, mental, emotional and monetary aspects, she had to think out of the box, being the eldest child.
“I remember my dad telling me that I should be in charge in taking care of the family and the business. I told myself it’s easy because I am a doctor, and we have a business, which is running smoothly. But I was wrong. When he got sick, I lost all my savings, and the bills were piling up,” she said.
Out of desperation to seek treatments for his father, Edodollon came across integrative medicine therapies. “I found myself applying integrative therapies on my father. I was shaking knowing that what I was doing was not taught to me in school. It’s like I have to unlearn so I can learn new things,” Edodollon narrated.
And, just after a few days of applying integrative medicine treatments, the condition of her father started to get better. “He’s my first patient, and he’s the reason why I have developed this passion to share the wonders of integrative medicine because I have seen what it did to my father. My father after that incident had enjoyed another five fruitful years with us.”
Realizing that medicine is not just about taking a pill when you are not feeling well, Edodollon pursued higher learning to make herself skilled and efficient on this new career path. Dedicating her expertise and know-how, Edodollon always looks for trainings abroad so she could do and learn more about her newfound passion.
Based on her experiences and trainings abroad, she knows the worth of having an honest consultation with her patients. This means better communication with the patients. “The healing process starts with our consultation, which takes about two to three hours. I need to make my patient understand what is going on in his/her body, and I can only fully understand a patient’s condition if he/she will be honest with me about her lifestyle and health habits,” she said.
Being an international doctor of integrative medicine and the only Filipino doctor who is certified to do certain therapies like Ozone and Advanced Prolozone therapies, according to her, most of her patients come from different parts of the world like Australia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, etc., and her professional fees can be as much as P15,000 for two hours only.
However, when it comes to Filipino patients, Edodollon has made it a commitment to help more sick Pinoys. “I only charge P1,500, a one-time payment…lifetime fee. This is my advocacy.” On the other hand, should a patient require therapies, he or she will only pay for the procedures or therapies.
Right now, the HICC is actively and aggressively promoting Prolozone Therapy, a form of nonsurgical ligament and joint reconstruction, and is a permanent treatment for many kinds of chronic pain.
Prolozone is an oxygen-injection and nonsurgical technique that is very effective for various forms of musculo-skeletal and joint pain, including chronic back and neck pain, degenerative and arthritic hips and knees, shoulder and elbow pain, rotator-cuff injuries, and degenerative discs.
It is a permanent treatment for chronic pain that reconstructs damaged connective tissues in the joints through ozone and collagen-producing substances, correcting the pathology of the disorder and increasing the chance of the patient to become permanently pain-free. Ozone therapy in general inactivates bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa; stimulates oxygen metabolism; activates the immune system while reducing inflammation; helps heal damaged joints and degenerative discs; and reduces or eliminates chronic pain. It also helps heal interstitial cystitis, chronic hepatitis, inflammatory colitis, herpes, HPV, dental infections, diabetes, kidney glomerulonephritis, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, gangrene, toenail fungus, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS, among many others.
The response to treatment of patients, meanwhile, varies and depends on one’s healing ability and level of injury. Edodollon said some patients may only need one or two treatments, while others may require as many as seven. The amazing thing about this therapy is that it can actually bring permanent fix.
She said most of her patients who have undergone this therapy are now free of the torture of chronic pain.
“We live our lives with the greatest illusion of separation by religion, by race, by culture, and we think that our heart is separate from our lungs; that’s why cardiology is separate from pulmonology, where, in fact everything is united and working as one. Our heart is very much connected to other body parts, and our body is connected to mind and spirit. Our being is connected to the community and the entire universe. When we are able to understand this, we heal one system and everything is healed,” Edodollon noted.