I am Dr. Laurie Radovsky, a family physician who believes that health is more than the absence of disease, and that healing is possible even when curing is not. I have been practicing integrative medicine in the Twin Cities for over fifteen years in conventional settings, and am now part of Birch Tree Healing Arts, an integrative medicine collective in St. Paul, MN. Whether you are healthy and want to reduce your risk of chronic illness, or you are confronting a serious medical condition, I can help you choose conventional and alternative therapies that are evidence-based, safe and effective.
I am board-certified in family medicine and a member of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine is not just having more tools in my toolbox, such as traditional Chinese medicine or manual therapies. It is an approach to health and healing in which the doctor and patient work together to maximize healing. My favorite definition of integrative medicine is by Judith Salerno of the Institute of Medicine:
“The philosophy behind integrative medicine is a focus on all stages and aspects of an individual’s care, placing the patient at the center and making individuals responsible for and involved in their own health. The physical, mental, social, spiritual, environmental, and other states of being must be considered to ensure that patients receive the highest quality and most comprehensive and coordinated care possible.”
Judith Salerno, MD, MS, Executive Officer, The Institute of Medicine August 2, 2015
While there are, as Dr. Salerno notes, many factors that impact our health, four of them are fundamental to health, and are to some extent under our control. These are diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. I find that many medical problems respond to improvements in these areas. When this alone is not enough, I use herbal therapies, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceuticals for treatment, as well as referrals to an array of alternative health practitioners.
The Pyramid and the Table
When asked about my philosophy of medicine, I describe my therapeutic approach as being like a pyramid. The top 5% of the pyramid belongs to pharmaceuticals. I do prescribe drugs to my patients after going over the benefits and risks. The next 20% of the pyramid represents the supplements and herbs I recommend. You may have noticed that 75% of the pyramid is still unaccounted for; this represents the lifestyle advice I give patients. In other words, most of what I recommend is what you can do to be healthy, not what I can give you. No matter how many supplements or medications you take, you cannot achieve optimal health unless you are following healthy behaviors. This is where the image of a table comes in. The four legs of the table are diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. If any of these legs is missing or shortened, your health is going to be wobbly. My job is to help you figure out how to make each of the legs of your health table as strong as possible.