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Janine Blackman, MD/PhD
Speaker, Practitioner, Advocate

Handout 4:

Role of the Integrative Physician

Role of the Integrative Physician

   by Janine Blackman, MD, PhD, Medical Director

    (Adapted from presentation slides and reprinted at CFSupport with permission.)

Mission Statement

To provide an integrated approach to the treatment of chronic illness such as FM and CFS to ensure that the maximum chance of the patient's recovery is possible, and for that recovery  to be sustainable without the need for further care.

Transformative Path to Recovery

State of Exhaustion →   →   →   →   →   Sustainable Restoration of Health & Resiliency

- Pathway is not linear as shown
- Individualized approach to help you progress
- Multi-directional and synerygistic approach is required to facilitate your mind-body
   through this transformation.

Multi-Directional Approach

Nourishment & Rebuilding

(Physical, Mental, Emotional)
Awakening Your
Healing Energy
(Identifying your
Unresolved Stressors)
Sustainable Restoration 
of Health & Resiliency
Regulating & Rebalancing
(Nervous & Endocrine System)
Clearing Obstacles
("Detox" and much more)

- Accomplishments in each direction support and enhance the other directions
- The sum is greater than the individual parts
- The synergy is essential for sustained recovery

Role of the Integrative Physician

- Screen potential patients for the program,
- confirm dianosis (of CFS or FM, e.g.),
- communicate with primary care physician as requested
- Medication optimization --wean medications as patients improve
- Nutritional Teaching (Food and Supplements)
- Sleep
- Exercise
- Guidance regarding other health/medical issues
- Participation in (not leading) regular team discussions
- Teaching life-long optimal health planning

Clearing Obstacles 

- Removal of

- processed foods
- stimulants
- alcohol
- emotional stress,

- vigorous exercise
- disempowering & limiting thinking
- Weaning of medications as medically appropriate & tolerated

- acid blockers decrease digestion and ability to absorb nutrients
- some neuro-psych meds used for sleep or pain reduce the action of herbs (e.g. Elavil)
- hormone-based contraceptives block the natural female biorhythms
- opiod or narcotic pain medications decrease the function of the GI system
opiod or narcotic pain medications decrease mental and emotional clarity
- antibiotics interfere with digestion, nutrient absorption, and the immune system
- Any non-essential medication this is metabolized through the liver
         decreases the liver's detoxification abilities

Nourishment & Rebuilding

- Physical, Mental & Emotional Nourishment & Rebuilding

- Nutrition
- improvement of digestion & absorption
- herbal therapy to improve function of the GI tract and clear old waste
- eliminate the intake of poor quality food/beverages
- eat slowly and calmly, at regular intervals
- high quality, whole food diet
- whole food nutritional supplements
- Sleep
- becomes a priority in this program
- set a bedtime (before 11 pm)
- reduce caffeine, then eliminate
- use natural and prescription aids as needed

- Gentle Movement
- gentle yoga or stretching daily
- gentle walking
- avoid exercise that "breaks a sweat" until told otherwise

- Emotional Nourishment (Remember when play was more important than food)
- self care
- joy-filled activities
- art
- meditation
- journal writing
- mind-body acitivities
- love and loving touch

- Intellectual or Mental Nourishment
- learn something new of interest to you
- discuss a contoversial book or play with friends

Awakening your Healing Energy

- lectures, "practicums," and private practice sessions through programs
- help patients identify unrecognized & unresolved stressors contributing to condition
- teach ways to keep stressors from preventing recovery
- collaborate with your personal psychotherapist

Regulating & Re-Balancing

- Unique methods for rebuilding and restoring function
   to exhausted nervous and endocrine systems

Janine Blackman, MD, PhD

Special interests  in applying Integrative Medicine to helping people with chronic health conditions such as pain; fatigue; complex bowel disorders such as irritable bowel, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis; diabetes; high cholesterol; and women's health issues including PMS, menopause symptoms, and osteoporosis.

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Updated March 6, 2011