Integrative Medicine: Part Two
Integrative Medicine: Part 2 of 2
A Foggy Brain, a Book in the Refrigerator
Abby, who didn't want her last name used, knows all about
the result of interlaced factors. The 43-year-old psychotherapist received
whiplash from an auto accident 11 years ago. For more than a year she suffered
pain, which caused disturbed sleep and chronic stress, and it was during this
time that she also became pregnant.
After giving birth, the Greenwich, Connecticut resident
developed a series of bacterial infections. Her doctors put her on a heavy
course of antibiotics, and one year later she developed a flu that never seemed
Abby was on a downward spiral, one that led her into a
seven-year sojourn through CFS and fibromyalgia. At her worst she was barely
able to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Her brain fog was so severe that
she once found a book in her refrigerator.
The Promise of Integrative Medicine
With the help of a naturopath, Abby turned to
herbal medicines and supplements and an organic, nonallergenic diet to support
her digestive system. She practiced meditation and breathing exercises every
day and received acupuncture regularly to stimulate her body's healing
To complement the alternative therapies, an
understanding physician prescribed medications to treat depression, pain and
"I don't know what I would have done
without those medicines, because they restored my sleep, when nothing natural
would," Abby says. "Then my immune system had a chance to
Today, while Abby occasionally suffers from mild symptoms
during stressful times, she is able to jog three times a week, and she lives a
full life with her husband and 10-year-old son. She continues to use herbs,
supplements and a healthy diet.
Integrating the strengths of conventional and alternative
therapies has been the key to Abby's healing and holds promise for countless
others who face the challenges of complex chronic illness.