Devon Brewer needed to find a way to alleviate multiple health problems and was struck by the fundamental difference at Duke Integrative Medicine. “Everyone here takes a holistic approach,” she says, “which is important when it comes to medicine. These days, every treatment plan is a quick fix to get the problem to go away, but at Duke IM, the providers look for the root of the problem.” She was relieved when her health care team assured her that it wasn’t normal to feel fatigue or to have headaches. “They helped me figure out the cause and fix that first,” she says, “and then take a natural approach to my overall wellbeing.”
Massage therapy was the first thing that Devon felt she needed, having struggled with back pain following the birth of her son. Massage therapist Kim Turk was there to help. “She doesn’t just do the massage; she knows what is going on with your body and helps you understand the heart of the problem,” Devon says.
Devon was also suffering from jaw pain and received acupuncture at Duke IM. “Acupuncture cured me of temporomandibular joint [disorder]”, she says. “My mom and I scheduled what we called ‘acu-dates’ and came to our appointments together! It feels spa-like.”
In addition to pain management, Devon also took advantage of nutritional counseling and was “blown away” by how well Integrative nutritionist Monica Gulisano does her job. “Whenever you do a diet, there is always a shock factor,” Devon says. “You can’t have this and you can’t have that. Monica sat down with me and took so much time to really answer all of my questions. She asked what I normally ate for breakfast. Then she recommended some foods I hadn’t tried; she even made a grocery list and let me know which grocery stores carried what I needed. She made the process of changing my diet something I could do instead of something that overwhelmed me.”
Grateful to have the support she needed to live a healthier life free from chronic pain, Devon is quick to say that Duke IM is the way that health care should be. “You should be in an environment that makes you feel comforted, not anxious, and be with a team of people that will help you be the healthiest you can be,” she says. “They know the right approach. This is the future of medicine.