Integrative Medicine’s Core Philosophy

Integrative medicine is a form of medicine that considers all aspects of a person’s well-being. Using the principles of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Brocchini will use evidence from the latest studies to guide her patients towards therapies that consider the mind, body and spirit. Dr. Brocchini believes strongly that when a patient connects the three, they will be able to work towards a goal of health and wellness, and not a cycle of treatment.

Does Integrative Medicine replace Conventional Medicine?

Integrative medicine does not replace conventional medicine. When there is illness or disease, this should always be treated by a medical professional trained to assess and prescribe the correct course of treatment. Those treatments should include medication, procedures and surgeries necessary to treat the illness. Integrative medicine may also indicate that additional alternative therapies may help the patient treat or alleviate symptoms of the illness. Dr. Brocchini is trained to be able to integrate conventional and alternative medicines and recommend a more broad range of therapies when appropriate.

Isn’t Integrative Medicine the Same as Alternative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is not the same as alternative medicine, though it does utilize some alternative therapies. Integrative medicine focuses on bringing health and wellness to the patient by utilizing methods from conventional and alternative medicine. Integrative medicine relies on science to inform which treatments are appropriate. While some alternative therapies do not have clinical trials to demonstrate effectiveness, many do. Dr. Brocchini is trained to know how and where to find this data to guide therapy and recommendations. Integrative medicine neither rejects alternative therapies nor accepts conventional medicine without critically examining the treatments. Scientific evidence supports the approach to integrating therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and guided imagery into today’s conventional treatment of heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses. It takes a knowledgeable doctor to integrate these modes of care carefully to ensure safety for patients.

Integrating the Spirit Into Healing

Spirituality doesn’t always mean a trip to Sunday services. At its core, spirituality is a feeling of being connected to something bigger than ourselves. Christina Puchalski, MD, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, contends that “spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” Integrative Medicine encourages patients to seek spirituality to allow the patient to feel connected. This can be done through religion, meditation, social groups, or a connection to nature. An Integrative physician will be able to guide a patient through these avenues that are relevant to the patient and the problem being treated.

Integrating Mind and Body into Medicine

Mind and Body treatments often go together. Yoga has become popular in mainstream America for its ability to focus the mind and body through movement and mindfulness. Tai chi and Pilates are other forms of mind/body practices that are used to help its practitioners utilize their body and mind to achieve a sense of well-being. Other treatments might include acupuncture, chiropractic care, relaxation techniques and guided imagery.

Nutrition and Supplementation

An Integrative medicine physician believes strongly in the root of health starting with proper nutrition. There is no one “right” diet for anyone, but proper nutrition is absolutely vital to treating disease or staying well depending on goals of treatment. Food should be viewed as fuel, and just like your car, the quality of the fuel can reflect the performance of your vehicle. Eating a diet rich in healthy greens and a good quality protein source is important for getting the right nutrients into your body. Still not even the best diets can always fill the nutritional gaps a patient may be experiencing. Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, Calcium, and B vitamins are among the most common nutrient deficiencies. Often only supplementation can help solve these deficiencies. Dr. Brocchini offers a full line of lab testing to help her determine which nutrients her patients are deficient in and the best ways to solve them with her preference being diet, when possible.

More About Dr. Brocchini

Dr. Brocchini went to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and graduated with honors earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, she went to medical school at Stanford University Medical School and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford Hospital. While a senior resident, she was presented two prestigious awards from the Stanford University department of Internal Medicine. The Charles B. Dorsey Award for excellence in patient care and the award for Professionalism during her internship and residency at Stanford. She is in the unique position of being board certified in Internal Medicine and being trained in Functional, Herbal and Integrative medicine.

Dr. Brocchini recently joined an elite group of practitioners to have initiated studies with the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine. The program was launched in 1997 by integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD. The Fellowship in Integrative Medicine is a 1,000-hour, two-year distance-learning program for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine leads the transformation of healthcare by raining a new generation of health professionals. The Center actively supports and empowers individuals and communities to optimize health and wellbeing through evidence-based, sustainable, integrative approaches. It embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-orientated medicine, addressing mind, body and spirit and making use of conventional and alternative therapies as appropriate-including all aspects of lifestyle-and emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient.

“We’re excited to have Dr. Brocchini as a graduate of this competitive and intensive program of study,” said Hilary McClafferty, MD, assistant professor, co-director of the fellowship, and director of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine in Residency Program for the UA Center for Integrative Medicine. “She showed a deep commitment to medicine and patient care in her personal statement and application and I am fully confident that this two-years of additional training will give Dr. Brocchini the tools to excel in integrative medicine and become a leader in the field.”