Integrative Health Blog

Integrative Physical Health: Your body and you

Posted by admin on Tue, Sep 28, 2010

by Ralph Wilson ND

childrenPeople come to us at NIHA when they have concerns about their health of body or mind. Working with the natural laws of health is the goal of the integrative medicine practitioners at NIHA and we are proud to announce the formation of the Integrative Physical Health Initiative. The insights of our various practitioners are adding to the IPH menu of choices available for individual health care programs by recognizing that every physical concern is affected by the person’s conscious participation in improving their health.

Steven Shafarman is the developer of an important education method called Flexware The name, Integrative Physical Health, was rapidly acknowledged by the NIHA team as the description of what we want for our patients to experience. Virtually all health concerns are affected by multiple factors, so that to design a complete health care program means including a unique set of assessments and treatments that are tailored to the individual.

Here are some of the insights that Steven Shafarman offers about his contribution to the IPH Initiative:

Integrative Physical Health is a whole person approach that focuses on helping people breathe and move more easily, more comfortably, more efficiently, more effectively. There is a natural synergy between IPH and medicine, both integrative and allopathic; treating pain and problems medically is often a precondition for learning to move more easily and effectively… Core IPH concepts and models come from basic, but often overlooked, facts of anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience, and research into the way very young children learn and move. Young children, for their size and weight, are much stronger than adults, have greater stamina, and are much, much more flexible — even though they don’t do any formal exercise… IPH works to help people of any age and condition rediscover the innate skills each of us knew when we were healthy young children. The focus in IPH is on fundamental everyday movements, especially breathing, sitting, and walking, plus practices for overall fitness…

He describes several conditions, including: Fibromyalgia: People with fibromyalgia typically, perhaps universally, report tenderness and lack of movement around their ribs. IPH improves mobility of the ribs and stimulates all of the muscles and connective tissues in that area, thereby improving circulation and facilitating healing…Depression: It is a cliché that people who are depressed have limited energy, shallow breathing, and downcast gaze and posture. Each of these behavioral variables can benefit from IPH practices that help people breathe and move more effectively, efficiently, and comfortably. The IPH emphasis on comfort makes it a truly mind-body approach, and especially compatible with cognitive behavioral therapies… Neurological conditions, including stroke, head injury, and multiple sclerosis: IPH’s whole person learning methods seem to be uniquely effective for helping such people function more effectively.

Along with FlexAware® education and individual sessions, a person’s individual program may include attention to various other aspects of the person’s health. This may include Rejuvenation and Detoxification support, Craniosacral therapy, Dr. Gant’s Functional Medicine and Psychotherapy, Holistic Nutrition and Wellness, and the full menu of options at NIHA such as Holistic Primary Care or any of the NIHA Health Programs.  

We think of you as being much more than a diagnosis label. We want to encourage you to actively include a carefully chosen combination of self-care and support from our practitioners.

Ralph Wilson, ND, MS Acupuncture is a writer and speaker on natural medicine and "energy medicine" and is an integrative naturopathic doctor at National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, an integrative medicine and dental center serving Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. His specialties include natural options for chronic health conditions, mind-body medicine and support for biological dental treatment programs.


Topics: craniosacral therapy, biological dentistry, integrative medicine, integrative doctor, mind-body