Mayo Clinic Minute: What is integrative health and how can it help?

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When you're sick, medication or even surgery may be just what the doctor orders. Dr. Adam Perlman, an integrative health specialist at Mayo Clinic, asks an additional question.

"What else can we do to really improve our sense of well-being?"

That's where acupuncture, yoga or tai chi may be integrated into an overall plan of care. Dr. Perlman describes it as "really helping people to go beyond the treatment of disease and pathophysiology, to really a place where they are optimizing their vitality."

Evidence shows, for instance, that acupuncture can help with chronic pain and may be recommended to those with cancer, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Tai chi helps with balance and reduces falls in older adults. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate.

But, Dr. Perlman says, it's not just what you do with your body that's important.

"Other things that tend to impact our health and well-being are things like gratitude and relationships."

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.

July 20, 2019