CAM Center Profile

Editor’s Note: Periodically, we will publish profiles of complementary and alternative medicine centers in the United States. Please contact us with feedback about this new feature or if you would like to see a particular facility profiled in future issues of the newsletter.

Center for Integrative Medicine

The Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) was developed as a program of O’Connor Hospital, which is affiliated with the Daughters of Charity Health System, in San Jose, CA. After about two and one-half years, CIM became independent and no longer was subsidized by the hospital. The center has been freestanding since October 2000.

The center began not as the project of one individual, but of a group of practitioners in the hospital, says administrator Janet Keeley. Most of the practitioners at CIM are complementary or alternative therapists. Three physicians also are associated with the center. One is a homeopath. Another, the previous medical director, does consultations and integrated medicine. A third physician recently joined the center and is a gynecologist with a focus on menopause and perimenopause.

CIM no longer has a medical director but has a "peer-support relationship" between the practitioners, Keeley says. The practitioner group acts as the governing body.

As evident in its statement of philosophy of care, CIM places a high emphasis on the credentials and education of its practitioners: "At the Center for Integrative Medicine, our expert multidisciplinary team of health care professionals provides individual evaluations, plus a variety of therapies intended to facilitate your personal healing process. All practitioners meet high credentialing standards, and provide treatments, care, education, and resources, encouraging you to take responsibility for your own self-care and to make appropriate choices regarding your health."

Several of the practitioners are registered nurses; others hold PhD or master’s degrees. Many have completed training certification programs in their specialties.

Services and Classes

At CIM, patients can access services in a variety of ways. A physician can refer patients for a specific modality or the patients can call and self-refer. CIM offers the following services: acupuncture, aromatherapy, Ayurveda (a system of medicine using natural therapies practiced in India for thousands of years), energy healing, holistic nursing, homeopathy, hypnotherapy and guided imagery, LifeLong weight loss program (a year-long holistic program), massage therapy, meditation, naturopathy, nutritional counseling and classes, physician consultations in integrative medicine, plant spirit medicine, preparation for surgery using guided imagery and mindfulness, professional renewal for health care professionals, psychotherapy and spiritual counseling, sound and music therapy, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong.

CIM also offers different kinds of classes, many of which are taught by the therapists themselves. These classes either teach patients about the services or give them a more in-depth view. Recent classes offered at CIM include: holistic nutrition from Ayurveda, self-hypnosis, aromatherapy, body rolling, and T’ai chi chih.

Funding

To fund the center, patients pay for the classes and therapy themselves. CIM avoids the difficulty of trying to bill for third-party reimbursement, Keeley says. "We do not participate in any insurance. We will provide superbills to patients, and they may seek reimbursement, but we do not participate in that program." Although some patients may struggle to pay the out-of-pocket costs, many are highly motivated for this approach to their medical care because they pay for it themselves, she says.

CIM is an affiliate of The Foundation for Mind-Being Research (FMBR) in Los Altos, CA. FMBR was established in 1980 to assist in the evolution of consciousness studies and to help bring this new field into wider recognition as a legitimate science.

CIM also encourages its patients to become free members of the PlaneTree Library in San Jose, so they can become more educated about their health needs. PlaneTree is a consumer health and medical library that is free and open to the public.

For more information about CIM, call (408) 286-4325 or visit its web site at www.fmbr.org/CIM/CIM.htm.