When a patient says, “I can’t take it anymore,” many doctors may find themselves seriously challenged in the search for an ultimate cure. As a practitioner of integrative health, or “green” medicine, an exclamation like that allows me the perfect opportunity to open the door and offer something new or different medically. We’ll assess their mind and body connection and consider if things like acupuncture, meditation or yoga may help aid the patient’s quest for health.
The idea of making green medicine a career never occurred to me as a child. I loved all things outdoors and knew I wanted to be a physician, but not the typical doctor. It came together when I decided to focus on various medical practices—realizing there’s a basic “green” mission I’m most interested in and want to offer it to those willing to give it a try. I also examined how people lived long ago—using the earth and what it provided for food—which helped me come full circle in my understanding of going back to the basics when it comes to health care.
Currently, I am dividing my medical path between consultations about integrative medicine and helping my patients learn how to include and best use things like herbs or simple movement in their quest for health. Along with it, I continue to address urgent care needs, using quick intervention to help those who are suffering. The ultimate outcome in both cases: seeing a patient get well. Integrative medicine harbors the opportunity for maximizing a person’s healing potential through natural methods while still keeping the cost low. I consider it the best medicine has to offer!
Teri Barr is anchor for “News 3 at 9” on MyMadisonTV Channel 14 and “News 3 at 10” on WISC-TV.