Integrative Medicine de Taos is working towards a whole network of healthcare for the Taos Community.
On the first Monday of every month, a group of people get together in Taos to talk about how to provide better healthcare. The members of this group vary widely in their interests and livelihood: physicians and nurses, counselors, massage therapists, herbalists, meditators, and more. How did this group come together? Why are all these people talking to each other? It’s simple: they recognize that treating people involves a lot more than one solution – that a treatment plan involving multiple modalities better serves the patient.
This meet-up is the Holistic Health Practitioners Monthly Meeting and is hosted by Integrative Medicine de Taos (IMdT). You may have already heard of some of the previous events by IMdT, such as last summer’s Taos Health Symposium with accompanying health fair, and the Taos Talks evening, which featured local presenters. IMdT began hosting the monthly meet-up as a way for practitioners to exchange ideas and to make connections. It’s all part of something called “functional medicine,” which is the practice of using holistic or alternative medicine alongside conventional Western medical practices – integrative medicine is another aspect of that. From the IMdT website: “There are many definitions of ‘integrative’ health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way.”
The timing of these meetings coincides with a national live web stream hosted by Evolution of Medicine, called The Functional Forum, which is “the world’s largest integrative medicine conference. On the first Monday of every month, this new concept in practitioner education, ‘medutainment’, brings together the latest health news, functional medicine research, practice development and health technology in an upbeat, entertaining way.” Local groups are encouraged to tune in and have discussions around the broadcast, which is exactly what happens here in Taos, along with networking, hors d’oeuvres, and presentations by local experts.
Alana Grier, IMdT’s Organizational Consultant, had this to add, “Integrative Medicine de Taos was established in 2015 to create a structural and financial foundation to build a model Primary Care Integrative Medicine Clinic and Educational institute in Taos, New Mexico. Our vision is for a medical home for our rural community that incorporates allopathic physicians, nurse practitioners and a diversity of CAM practitioners under one ‘roof’, working as a team to provide a full spectrum of preventative and wellness care for patients from birth to end of life. We began our Monthly Meet-Up groups in October of 2016 and have had 36 members join and a regular attendance of 20-15 participants. Currently, these are informal and education is provided through access to online materials and presented by local practitioners. We are hoping to build this group by putting together a one day seminar that will be the culmination of learning within the chosen area of interest. This seminar will bring in a national educators and opportunity for hands on learning and reflection on integration of concepts and skills in practice as it relates to rural communities.”
Integrative medicine is a radical departure from the “us vs. them” mentality that used to divide traditional and alternative medicine. What is happening now is an effort to bring the best of both together to provide more comprehensive health care.