At HealthTeam360 we use six of the most commonly directly accessed professions on our integrative panel. There are a number of others who provide important services and often excellent value. [Read more about them here.]

Doctors of Medicine (MDs) & Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs)
Doctors of Medicine (MD) and of Osteopathy (DO) are trained to use drugs and surgery to specifically address disease, illness, and injury.  Besides using that conventional approach, holistic and integrative physicians also attempt to take account of the whole person.  That means paying attention to mind, body, spirit, environment, life-style, and genes.  These physicians endeavor to deal with the meaning of illness as well as the mechanism of illness.  They recognize that each individual’s power to heal and be healed often extends beyond one’s physical body.  The holistic physicians take a personal life-style and systems approach that addresses the basic causes of chronic disease such as stress, toxins, allergens, infection, and nutrition.  They also understand the importance and usefulness of working with multiple types of practitioners and therapies. based on a view of the human body that’s based on the identification and control of disease. Therefore, they use drugs and surgery as primary types of treatment. For many problems and conditions these are important–if not lifesaving–tools, and for many they serve as options for consumers to consider using. Many ‘holistic’ medical providers see their role as one of expanding more into dealing with lifestyle-related counseling and recommendations, and at HealthTeam360 we use holistic MDs in this capacity. Clinical benefits that come from working with holistic MDs and DOs comes out of their knowledge and effective application of drugs, surgery, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases. (Read more here.)

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs)
Chiropractors use a clinical approach based on what’s been called a ‘neo-vitalistic’ approach, meaning that they fundamentally view the human body as being innately capable of growth, development, health and recovery. Their primary clinical approach is to look for limitations in function and neurological impairment. Many see their role as primarily related toward assessing the presence of sources of neurologic impairment; they call these ‘subluxations’ of the spine, and adjust the spine to correct them. Others use additional therapeutic approaches, counsel on nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, etc., and deal with a broader range of functional problems. Clinical benefits that come from working with DCs are generally related to their ability to improve the function of the nervous system, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases. (Read more here.)

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs; also known as Naturopathic Physicians or Naturopathic Medical Doctors, depending on the state)
NDs use a clinical approach based on an appreciation of the natural healing powers of the body, which they term the ‘vis,‘ as in ‘vis Medicatrix Naturae,’ Latin for ‘the healing power of nature.’ NDs’ primary clinical approaches often center on evaluating an individual’s lifestyle, focusing often on diet as a foundation for personal health. In some areas of the country, NDs also have limited prescription and obstetrical rights. Clinical benefits that come from working with NDs are generally related to their ability to improve the nutritional function of the body, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases.  (Read more here.)

Licensed Psychologists (LPs) [Mental health providers can also include licensed clinical social workers, or LCSW; more here]
Practitioners of psychology work from a clinical paradigm that sees our emotions as inextricably woven into our health and healing. Psychologists work with clients to identify and resolve sources of emotional conflicts, trauma, and other adaptive challenges that can often deeply affect our health. Clinical benefits that come from working with LPs are generally related to their ability to help people improve the function of the emotional system, problem-solving, and experience-based barriers to health and recovery, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases. (Read more here.)

Acupuncturists (LAcs)
Licensed acupuncturists typically graduate from accredited programs that train them in both acupuncture and Oriental herbs, although many emphasize one approach over the other in practice. Their clinical paradigm views the human body as incorporating complex energetic systems, and view health and disease as related to whether or not those energies are in balance. Their clinical approaches commonly start with identifying the degree to which someone is in balance, and if out of balance, what kinds of restorative treatments are likely to be most effective. Clinical benefits that come from working with LAcs are generally related to their ability to improve the balance and function of the energetic systems of the body, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases. (Read more here.)

Therapeutic Massage Therapists (MTs)
Practitioners of therapeutic massage (as contrasted with salon-based, relaxation massage) view health and health problems as being both evident through, and impacted by, the soft tissues and structures of the body. Their clinical paradigm is based on evaluating soft tissue sources of pain and dysfunction, and their main therapeutic tools involve use of their hands to improve function and circulation. Clinical benefits that come from working with MTs are generally related to their ability to improve the function of the soft tissue structures of the body with enhanced flexibility, strength and circulation, as well as an understanding of the complexities of lifestyle-based diseases. (Read more here.)

The following table summarizes key elements of the integrative providers we use at HealthTeam360. You can read more about each profession on its specific page.

Type of Provider Professional Education Prerequisites Are Schools Accredited? Professional Training Focus of Clinical Expertise Regulation & Oversight
MD/DO 4 year bachelor’s degree Yes 4 years basic education; 1 or more years residency; additional postgraduate specialization and training common. Drugs, surgery, lifestyle counseling State by state Boards of Medical Practices (use different names).
DC 4 years undergraduate general education with emphasis on chemistry, biology and physics Yes 4 years clinical training; limited residency opportunities; additional postgraduate specialization and training common. Evaluation, detection and treatment of structural and functional problems affecting overall health; nutrition, physiotherapies and other therapeutic approaches common. State by state Boards of Chiropractic Practices (many use different names and some are subsumed under ‘umbrella’ regulatory boards).

 

ND 4 years undergraduate general education with emphasis on chemistry, biology and physics Yes 4 years clinical training; limited residency opportunities; additional postgraduate specialization and training common. Evaluation, detection and treatment of physiological function, especially as it pertains to food choices, sensitivities, allergies, etc. State by state Boards of Naturopathic Practices (many use different names and some are subsumed under ‘umbrella’ regulatory boards). Not regulated in all states.

 

LP 4-6 years of undergraduate general education Yes 4-6 years or more of training (Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate level). Additional postgraduate specialization and training common. Psychological disorders State by state Boards of Psychology Practices (use different names). Some are subsumed uner ‘umbrella’ regulatory boards.
LAc 2 or more years of baccalaureate-level coursework Yes 3-4 years of training to achieve a Master’s Degree level Evaluation and treatment of health and disease through an energetic systems model State by state Boards of Acupuncture Practices (use different names). Some are subsumed uner ‘umbrella’ regulatory boards.
MT No standardized requirements Varies 500-1000 hours of professional training to graduate Evaluation and treatment of health and function through the functional quality of soft tissues. State by state regulation or licensing; many communities regulate massage therapy practices under a business license model.