Clinical Care

Integrative clinical care is empowering for those who want to take charge of their own health and well-being. Most integrative medicine clients are interested in prevention, a mind-body approach to illnesses ranging from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease to neurological conditions or pain. The Center’s clinical component unites faculty from throughout the UCSD Health System, including practitioners in the Division of Family Medicine, the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, and the Division(s) of Neurosciences, Psychiatry and Psychology. The Center also offers preventive care complementary and alternative medicine services to patients in a number of other specialty areas such as Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedics, and Sports Medicine. Services include:

Integrative Medicine Physician Consultations

Integrative physicians partner with their patients, and together evaluate all available options, starting with the most natural, least invasive approaches to facilitate the body's natural healing response. Integrative physicians provide recommendations and ongoing structured support for all factors that influence health, wellness and disease, which include care of the mind, body, spirit and community. In addition, our integrative medicine physicians are personally committed to the ongoing process of self-exploration and self-development. Integrative medicine consultations may be particularly beneficial for patients seeking guidance in prevention and optimal health promotion, as well as the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, or heard disease. Our integrative medicine team also specializes in women’s health, integrative nutrition, gastrointestinal issues, dermatologic and other physical conditions, and well as psychological, sleep, fear, or stress-related conditions.
Find an Integrative Physician

Natural Medicine Counseling

Natural medicine (NM) is a timeless approach to wellness and healing that is based on the premise that by adopting a balanced whole food, plant-based diet, healthy lifestyle, and use of natural therapeutics, each of us has the power to prevent and often to reverse many seemingly intractable health problems. NM is also an evidence-based integrative medical modality that combines conventional and alternative as well as eastern and western perspectives and practices on healing and wellness. Those receiving NM counseling are provided with recommendations for and ongoing structured support in the use of:

  • A nutritionally and energetically balanced whole food, plant-based diet as a foundation for health
  • Supplementation as needed with medicinal foods, teas, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and homeopathics
  • Home remedies such as hot/cold packs, nasal rinsing, and self-massage
  • Meditative exercises such as yoga, t’ai chi, and even mindful walking and swimming
  • Energy-based treatments such as acupuncture and massage

NM counseling also provides: (a) supportive feedback on the pros and cons of conventional therapies (e.g. drugs, surgery, other procedures) some patients may be using or considering, (b) careful guidance on how to optimize combination of NM and conventional modalities, and (c) for those seeking alternatives to drugs or surgery or to reduce or eliminate existing medication use, guidance as well as communication and coordination of care with other health providers. NM may also be particularly helpful for those seeking guidance in prevention or management of:

  • Prostate, breast, colon, or any other type of cancer
  • Elevated cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes
  • Obesity or weight management
  • Psychological, sleep, or stress-related disorders
  • Autoimmune, musculoskeletal, neurologic, dermatologic, ophthalmic, or other physical conditions

To schedule an appointment with a Natural Medicine Doctor: Call 1-800-926-8273 or send an email

Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient system of medicine that has many applications in the modern world. TCM targets the body's energy system, or "chi," and seeks to balance the body's structural and functional systems. TCM is a holistic approach to healthcare that addresses the body, mind and spirit of the patient. Based on an intricate assessment of an individual’s physical, mental/emotional and spiritual condition, the TCM practitioner utilizes therapies such as acupuncture/acupressure, nutritional therapy, herbal therapy, and therapeutic exercises such as tai qi or qi gong (meditative breathing techniques). These therapies utilize natural methods and the body's innate healing response to balance the body, mind and spirit and lead to improved health and well being. Read More

Find a Licensed Acupuncturist

Mindfulness & Stress Reduction

Researchers have discovered that the mind and the body are intimately connected—thoughts, beliefs, emotions and stress all impact health and illness. Meditation is one "self-regulatory practice" that individuals can learn to do for themselves to promote their own health and well-being. Other examples of self-regulatory practices besides meditation are biofeedback, clinical hypnosis, and progressive relaxation exercises. Research has shown that individuals who learn and practice these skills are likely to have better health outcomes than those who do not. In particular, research has shown that the ability to concentrate attention can promote deep relaxation in the body, and that the ability to be more mindful in each situation can help break the destructive habitual reactions to stress.

In the approach known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), individuals are taught to practice mindfulness meditation, mindful movement/gentle stretching and yoga as ways to become more aware, more present, and more relaxed as they face the stress of their own lives.

Find an MBSR class
Learn to Teach MBSR

Neurology

The Integrative Neurology Program provides holistic care to patients with complicated neurological conditions. The Program focuses on applying osteopathic medicine principles, manual therapies and other treatment modalities to the management of neurological disease. To schedule an appointment, call 858-657-8540 and ask for an Integrative Neurology appointment with Josh Alexander, D.O., M.P.H. Your Visit The first appointment will be 60 minutes. The Neurologist will take a detailed history including information about injuries before performing a thorough neurological and musculoskeletal evaluation. Follow-up visits are 30 minutes, and initially recur weekly to biweekly. As you improve, the treatment frequency can be reduced. Depending on your needs, you may be referred for other treatments available at UC San Diego and our Center for Integrative Medicine including, but not limited to: acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, nutrition, and/or physical therapy. Read More...

Osteopathic/Manual Medicine

The three tenets of Osteopathic Medicine are: 1) the body must be treated as a whole unit, including its connection to mind and spirit; 2) structure and function are interrelated; and 3) the body has a natural inclination to heal itself. Therefore, prevention and wellness are central to osteopathy. Doctors of Osteopathy (DO) go through educational training similar to allopathic (MD) doctors, and are similarly licensed to practice a full scope of medicine in any specialty of choice. However, DO physicians are also trained in a variety of different manual medicine techniques, such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, Reiki, trigger points, Rolfing and Therapeutic Touch. Manual medicine can help to change the resting tension in a muscle or tendon, change or “reset” a trigger point, alter the tension or torque within a ligament or fascial plane, change the alignment or asymmetry of bones or joints, help to alter structures that are impinging on nerves, release suppressed emotion that may be held in the myofascial tissues, open up blocked energetic channels, and improve lymphatic flow, visceral function, cerebral spinal fluid flow and immune function.
To schedule an appointment with an osteopathic doctor:
Call 1-800-926-8273 or send an email

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