Before COVID, we had a pre-existing
health crisis in the U.S.—a chronic complex disease epidemic. Years ago, it was
infectious disease and before—way back in the 1800s—it was vitamin
deficiency Now it is cancer, heart
disease and diabetes—all preventable because the number-one cause of these
conditions is diet. According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistic Report
from the CDC, one in three (88 million) American adults have pre-diabetes.
Unfortunately, children are not exempt
from our country’s unhealthy trends. There has been an explosion of autism,
ADHD, asthma and allergies among children in this country.
Probably the most important outcome
of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a re-emphasis on the importance of building a
healthy immune system, striving for freedom from chronic disease and
maintaining health. Even in the best of
times, everyday stressors and toxins erode the body’s defenses. This is where integrative
is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine emphasizes
relationship-centered care between the doctor and patient. It focuses on
prevention and maintenance of health with attention to lifestyle choices
including nutrition, exercise, stress management and emotional wellbeing. It
requires providers to act as educators, role models and mentors to their
patients. Integrative medicine also:
Uses natural, less invasive interventions before
costly invasive ones when possible.
Utilizes an evidence-based approach from
multiple resources of information to integrate the best therapy—be it
conventional or complementary.
Searches for and removes barriers that may be
blocking the body’s innate healing response.
Sees that compassion is always helpful, even
when other therapies are not.
Focuses on the research and how to facilitate
Accepts that health and healing are unique to
the individual and may differ for two people with the same disease.
Works collaboratively with the patient and a
team of interdisciplinary providers to improve the delivery of care.
Maintains that healing is always possible even
when curing is not.
Hippocrates, the “father of
medicine,” stated that the job of the physician is to “cure sometimes, heal
often, and support always.”
For example, if a child has fluid in
the middle ear, we usually do not prescribe antibiotics because it is rarely infected.
For years, these occurrences have been defined as ear infections which is not
the case. The problem is eustachian tube dysfunction. We refer patients to a
chiropractic doctor, an osteopath or a craniosacral specialist. These healing
modalities utilize manual techniques, which open the eustachian tube and drain
the fluid without the use of antibiotics. Salt therapy results in drainage and
relieves congestion of the lungs and nasal passages. These are typical examples
of integrating various modalities and therapies.
our genes ultimately responsible for our health?
The crux of integrative medicine is
the environmental influence on our genetic predisposition. It's not genetic
pre-determinism, it's the environmental factors that exert influence on our
genetic predisposition and determine what the genes direct. Environmental
factors can turn genes on to either direct health or disease.
The quality of air, water, food, stress
management, exercise and rest—all talk to the genes. A good example in our practice was a brother
and sister, 4 and 2 years old, who came to us with severe eczema. They improved
within two months with some dietary modifications and supplements as we helped
them detoxify. About two months later, they came in with a horrible recurrence.
The parents told us nothing had
changed; however, upon further questioning, we found they lived in a rural area
near a big farm and builders had started developing the land. Building materials leached into a pond that
was near the family’s property and contaminated their well’s drinking water,
resulting in a recurrence of the eczema. They started drinking bottled water
and the eczema went away by itself. The environments that are created determine
what genetic predispositions express.
does Salt Therapy contribute to the Integrative Medicine model of care?
Allergies are a problem for many
people in the Orlando area; each year it appears in the top 100 “Asthma and
Allergy Capitals” in the U.S., a list put out by the Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America. Salt therapy offers year-round relief of cold, flu and
Salt therapy takes place in a
spa-like room with salt-covered walls and floor. Treatment consists of
sitting in a lounge chair and breathing deeply while pharmaceutical-grade salt
is pulverized into microscopic particles and pushed into the room.
Salt therapy is an important tool
in our integrative medicine array because it activates multiple physiological
processes in the body. Salt acts like an expectorant, accelerating mucus
clearance and improving lung function while killing harmful bacteria and
soothing the respiratory system. These mucus-clearing, anti-inflammatory,
antibacterial effects have been shown to relieve symptoms of acne, allergies,
asthma, viral infections, chronic cough, cystic fibrosis, dermatitis, eczema,
sinusitis and eustachian tube dysfunction.
Salt Therapy safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes! HEPA air filters in the room capture and
remove up to 99.97 percent of airborne particles, including viral particles,
while activated carbon filters remove volatile organic compounds. A UV light kills 98.8 percent of bacteria and
viruses on surfaces. Salt therapy is clinically-proven, natural, safe
and beneficial for every age group.
best of both worlds
For an integrative practice,
education is foremost. We teach families about living a healthy lifestyle and
creating positive environments that will determine the health of the
children. Integrative practices take the
time to help families implement their treatment programs. The major medicine
used is food. Most kids are very picky. We can tell them to modify their diet
in certain ways and give them supplements, but parental education and support
is needed—so basically, we’re treating the whole family.
Integrative medicine is not pharmaceutically-based; however, we will use
drugs in an acute situation, since sometimes we can't wait for the natural
remedies to work. For example, if a child is on the verge of being expelled
from school for behavioral issues, we’ll start a pharmaceutical to allow time
for the natural remedies to take hold. It takes time to get to the root
cause of problems, initiate detox and correct deficiencies. A big tenet in holistic
integrative medicine is: “We give them what they need and take away what they
Cannizzaro, MD has been practicing pediatrics in Central Florida for over 40
years and is medical director of the salt therapy facility in his
practice. As a classically-trained
primary care physician who practices integrative medicine, Dr. Cannizzaro
believes that integrative medicine can bring conventional and complementary
healing modalities together, creating a highly personalized and high-touch
healing environment. Call the Cannizzaro Integrative Pediatric Center at
321-280-5867 for a meet and greet or to book a session at The Salt Room®Longwood. See also, www.MyCIPC.com.