Alternative medicine

How We Heal | Alternative medicine in New York

At four major hospitals in the city, medical students are also learning to use alternative treatments in their practice. Dr. Robert Schiller, chief medical officer of the Mount Sinai Institute of Family Health, has used integrative therapies for decades.

“That’s one of the things that drew me in from the start, figuring out how to integrate a lot of these techniques,” said Schiller, who is also vice president of family medicine and community health at the Icahn School. of Medicine.

According to Mount Sinai website. A 2018 Mayo Clinic Study found that integrative treatments like these are effective in reducing pain for patients in hospital.

At the Morrison Center, patients usually come three times a month for the entire treatment.

“We love when patients come back and say they’re thrilled with the first set of recommendations,” Morrison said.

But Morrison acknowledges that not all patients will meet the first set of recommendations. Sometimes it takes several different trials to determine which treatment is best, especially if the patient has a chronic condition.

“A patient with a chronic condition may be with me for a year, but I also saw a patient who reminded me that we had been working together for 10 years,” he said.

The waiting room at the Morrison Center, an integrative clinic in Midtown Manhattan, where patients typically come three times a month.

Integrative health education

In general, people looking for new ways to heal are increasingly trying different forms of alternative medicine.

This expansion in the number of alternative medicine users appears to have sparked an increased interest in integrative health among students and physicians. the American Board of Medical Specialtiesfor example, offers board certification in integrative medicine, which began in 2014.

Medical residents at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai also take a month-long integrative health course as part of the program.

“We are developing the educational infrastructure and part of the credentialing process to determine who is allowed to call themselves an integrated physician,” Schiller said.

Icahn School residents with a particular interest in integrative medicine can take more courses through electives or additional training, Schiller said. The school recently launched a scholarship program, which includes certification in acupuncture for physicians interested in additional training.

“This is all brand new,” Schiller said.

Deborah Valentin, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, runs a holistic healing center called Sage Wellness in Lower Manhattan.

At the age of 20, Valentin suffered from excruciating back pain. Her father, a doctor, advised her not to take any prescription painkillers. That’s when Valentin turned to acupuncture, and the experience was transformative.

Valentin said it “healed the physical pain and also restored a sense of inner peace”.

It also led her to pursue a master’s degree in health sciences and oriental medicine, studies that weren’t as widely accepted in the 1990s as they are now.

“I’m not trying to convince anyone that this works,” Valentin said. “I prefer that they find out for themselves.”

Coverage and costs

Costs vary widely depending on insurance coverage and doctor’s fees. At Mount Sinai’s Institute for Family Health, integration services are covered by insurances such as Medicaid and Medicare. The Institute also has a program where practitioners offer free homeopathy at six designated centers homeless sites across the city.

These sites include churches, single-room buildings, and halfway houses. The services provided range from obtaining medicines and key treatments such as homeopathy to HIV testing, according to their website. At both churches on the Upper West Side, they offer meals and showers during the week, and this coincides with the schedule of the medical team.

“What’s unique is that the Institute of Family Health operates a network of federally qualified health centers, so we’re a safety net provider,” Schiller said. “There are people who work in homeless shelters and free clinics. So we see people regardless of their ability to pay.

On the other hand, the Tia Clinic, which opened in March in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, is membership-based and costs $15 a month or $150 for the year. They accept Aetna, Cigna, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, among other insurers. In the future, Tia hopes to expand Medicaid coverage.

Without insurance, however, treatment costs are high. Members can expect to pay $123 for treatments for infections, such as urinary tract infections, and other conditions, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. These treatments can cost up to $540 for a consultation and labs, according to her website. Non-members pay $425 out of pocket for individual naturopathic treatments and $400 for group wellness workshops.

Hospitals and clinics like Tia and the Morrison Center are struggling to balance accessibility and coverage. Morrison said that in their clinic, it’s up to the doctor to choose what they want to charge. Most insurance does not cover treatments.

Costs can give integrative health a bad name. “People who charge exorbitant amounts for integrative treatments are referred to as what’s wrong with the practice,” Schiller said.

But that doesn’t stop practitioners from trying to make it accessible.