The American healthcare system undoubtedly has its share of problems. As practitioners in the health and wellness space, our team has experienced many of those issues first-hand. So we set out to do things differently with MindStream. Here is a short list of problems we are trying to solve by starting MindStream Integrative Medicine.
1. The traditional practice pace is too fast.
The traditional medical setting does not allow enough time to honor the complexity of what we are trying to accomplish. In fact, multiple studies show that on average a few clinical questions come up in every medical encounter, and they often don’t get answered. Time, lack of efficiency, and unreliable sources (or huge paywalls) are often cited as the reason for this. At MindStream, we seek to change that by at a minimum, slowing the pace and engaging in continuous learning.
2. Medical care has become transactional.
Unfortunately, traditional medicine has lost much of its personal touch. Care is now more transactional (symptom—>medication, or symptom—>procedure), a strategy medicine has evolved to deal with problem 1. At MindStream, we believe that healing is different and as practitioners, we should be more engaged with patients and the healing process.
3. Medical care has become ‘big business’.
In fact, healthcare makes up 20% of the American economy’s GDP. That means we rely on healthcare to be a predictable contributor to the economy, which has nothing to do with patient health or outcomes. Thankfully, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the healthcare industry’s willingness to put them in harm’s way. For instance, new prescription medications have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious harm. Also, almost 3 million people per year have serious medication-related hospitalizations or hospital-acquired adverse effects. Additionally, over 100,000 people die every year from preventable drug adverse effects. Therefore, many patients have wisely begun to consider non-pharmacologic treatment options. At MindStream, we believe healthcare (healing care) should be performed by people who are invested in providing a service that is oriented towards patient health outcomes – care that both patients and providers value.
4. Procedures and medication are generally offered as the only options.
Why get a pill or a procedure when a lifestyle change, non-pharmaceutical therapy, or emotional work is a more sustainable and healthspan-extending option? Essentially, we want to provide care in the way that we appreciate it at MindStream. While we love the tools of Western medicine, they are often too heavy-handed. On the other hand, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to change a patient’s health trajectory if those Western tools are the best next step. That’s the beauty of integrative medicine. We have access to a full toolkit of healing and treatment options, including but not limited to Western Medicine.
Additionally, we sometimes just need to share a feeling, and in the sharing, especially when it’s received with interest and presence, the feeling settles down on its own. This is especially true when the listener can reassure, with medical wisdom, that no intervention is needed.
5. Traditional medical practices can be ‘siloed’ and often fail to collaborate and/or communicate well with one another.
We believe that many hands accomplish tremendous work and there is strength in diversity. So, when we started MindStream, we asked ourselves, “How can we gather a community of experts from different disciplines who really love what they do, inspire one another, make our ability to care for patients better, and can hold space when we need to live our lives outside of the office?” We have come to understand that we will never know all that we want to know, but we can know people who know what we want to know, and we can work together!
6. The prevention space is woefully neglected in healthcare.
Traditional medicine meets people in the narrow space of acute illness, injury, and chronic disease management. We know that can look better. So, at MindStream, we focus heavily on the prevention aspect of health and well-being.
7. Medical information is frequently given without taking into account the emotional barriers to enacting or manifesting that advice.
At MindStream, when we talk to patients about things that are going to be hard, we check in with how all the parts feel about that information and assess for concerns. Instead of telling you what you need to do, we ask ourselves, “What needs to happen or could happen?”. In the meantime, our role invites us to hold a safe container while we explore these avenues with patients. Is it change, acceptance, or just allowing it to be the next step along the journey? That’s an individual awareness coming from one’s own inner healer.
8. Traditional medical practices repeatedly fall short of being true spaces for healing.
Mental health, movement, medical care, nutrition, community, curiosity, being seen, known, welcomed, affirmed, validated, and made to feel like one is “not too much” or “being a bother.” These are all things that belong to the healing space we call Mindstream.
About Dr. Amy Price Neff
Dr. Price Neff is board certified in Integrative Medicine by the American Board of Integrative Medicine. A board-certified Family Medicine doctor, she is also fellowship trained in psychedelic medicine and psychiatric medicine. Additionally, she has studied Ayurvedic Medicine, as well as deep inquiries into the microbiome, cancer metabolism, nutrition, mindfulness, medications and the mind, autoimmunity, and the clinical questions that come up in daily practice. For the team at MindStream, the excitement that comes from continuous learning is one of the most precious fuels for practice. Learn more about Dr. Neff and the MindStream team.