What began as a small movement to transform healthcare nearly 20 years ago has now become an international certification program rooted in teaching Lifestyle Medicine through the Lens of Yoga. Both Functional and Integrative Medicine are components of the Lifestyle Medicine delivered via Medical Therapeutic Yoga (MTY). This transformative practice is the future of sustainable healthcare. A model that creates independence and prevents and addresses burnout for the clinician while creating economic and personal well-being for the individual.
PYTI® trains licensed healthcare providers how to impact healthcare through Lifestyle Medicine by using yoga, specifically the evidence-base of Medical Therapeutic Yoga. We use integrative and functional medicine approaches, including addressing sleep, stress management, environmental impacts on health, mindful movement, meditation, and social, spiritual, and behavioral influences.
Healthcare is more expensive than ever while our outcomes and results are spiraling downward. In short, Americans pay more for healthcare while getting less than every other developed country in the world. Our goal is to lessen the cost burden to you, as a healthcare consumer, lower burnout of clinicians (healthcare providers have some of the highest suicide rates in the world), and offer solutions for chronic pain and being well without drugs or surgery.
To address Lifestyle Medicine, we need to first define Integrative and Functional Medicine, since they are an integral part of what we teach.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine states, “There are many definitions of “integrative” health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way.” (NCCIM 2018) Integrative Medicine seeks to address the individual holistically, and the approach that PYTI® uses is well supported by research and endorsed by the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine as the “most effective way to address pain.” (Garner 2016)
Functional Medicine is a discipline that falls outside of the realm of integrative medicine, though is synergistic and shares some of the same modalities for treatment. Functional medicine is chiefly concerned with treating the individual not based on diagnosis of pathology, but to determine the root cause of the individual. Trailblazing functional medicine physician, Dr. Mark Hyman, says the hallmark of Functional Medicine is its ability to “address the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.” (Hyman 2018)
It is this combination of Integrative & Functional Medicine that provides the cornerstones for practice of Lifestyle Medicine in licensed clinical practice.
Of the 10 most commonly used Integrative Medicine practices, the PYTI® Certification teaches 8 of 10 of the modalities as part of its program. The integrative approaches taught in the PYTI® certification program in Medical Therapeutic Yoga (MTY) prepares the licensed healthcare provider to incorporate the following modalities into their clinical practice:
- Deep breathing
- Yoga philosophy, including Ayurveda
- Mind/Body Therapeutic Practices such as yoga, Pilates, and other movement therapies
- Osteopathic/Physical Therapy & Adjustments within the provider’s scope of practice for touch
- Special diets
- Guided imagery
- Progressive Relaxation
- Stress Management
While biomedical care saves lives with its demonstrated excellence in acute, crisis-based disease intervention (Garner 2016), it has a less success with chronic disease prevention and management (Pomeroy 2012, Van Hecke et al., 2013, Elliott et al., 2002). However yoga, specifically yoga that is based on best available evidence, the perfect adjunct to clinical rehabilitation disciplines has long term healthcare benefits not matched by the sole reliance upon biomedical care. Simply put, yoga’s inclusion in healthcare can improve rehabilitation, including its preventive, acute, and chronic care aspects, while also fostering creative, innovative dialogue that can transform healthcare, now and for the future. Further, the critical aspects of Lifestyle Medicine that the licensed healthcare provider can include offers best care evidence-based options for our patients and for our communities.
The foundations of functional medicine taught in the PYTI® certification prepare the licensed healthcare provider to:
- Help determine the root cause of the individual’s condition through evaluation, diagnosis where appropriate, and treatment that is encased in a biopsychosocial model of assessment. Taking a thorough subjective intake, listening to the person and validating their experience and needs, and using the Functional Movement Assessment© enables the clinician to personalize a treatment plan.
- Affect behavioral health and lifestyle choices. Lifestyle choices contribute to the high cost and frequency of chronic illness that plagues our society today and which stems from complex, difficult to treat disease processes. Often the orthopedic conditions we see, for example, can be linked with lifestyle choices, inflammation, obesity, and stress. And the effects do not stop there. An orthopedic condition, such as low back pain, doesn’t typically occur as a single, isolated condition. There are often multiple affected body systems driving the back pain, such as gastrointestinal function, gut microbiome, and neuroendocrine health, for starters. The back pain eventually takes a toll on these systems, which inevitably impairs social, relational, and spiritual health. Or, the situation can work in reverse and what begins as a relational or emotional issue can manifest as physical pain. Functional medicine works to identify root causes of illness and impairment instead of treating a single diagnosis. Diet, nutrition, lifestyle changes, and movement/fitness can all be a part of intervention.
- Use best-fit Integrative Medicine approaches that are evidence-based, scientifically sound in a compassionate, inclusive environment driven by person-centered care.
- Use the model of Lifestyle Medicine to deliver care.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then integrated care is probably best suited to meet your healthcare needs.
- Do you have difficulty with sleep, weight control, and/or mood management?
- Do you need to reduce stress in your life?
- Are you tired of feeling tired or being in pain?
- Do you want to learn how to be fit more efficiently?
- Do you want to learn how to eat to support longevity, brain, body, and gut health?
- Do you want to prevent injury?
- Do you want to treat your health issues holistically?
- Are you tired of being offered only drugs, surgery, and more diagnostic tests?
- Are you tired of being treated like a diagnosis or chart number instead of a person?
- Would you like to feel better about yourself and manage your pain through a compassionate, holistic approach?
- NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health#integrative.
- HYMAN, M. http://drhyman.com/about-2/about-functional-medicine/
- GARNER G. 2016. Medical Therapeutic Yoga: Biopsychosocial Rehabilitation and Wellness Care. Handspring Pub Ltd. Scotland, UK.
- POMEROY. C. 2012., (Lecture) Health Disparities and Social Justice: A Call To Action for Academic Health Centers. Prioritizing Health Disparities in Medical Education to Improve Care. New York Academy of Sciences. October 2.
- VAN HECKE, O., TORRANCE, N. and SMITH, B.H., 2013. Chronic pain epidemiology and its clinical relevance. British journal of anaesthesia, 111(1), pp. 13-18.
- ELLIOTT, A.M., SMITH, B.H., HANNAFORD, P.C., SMITH, W.C. and CHAMBERS, W.A., 2002. The course of chronic pain in the community: results of a 4-year follow-up study. Pain, 99(1-2), pp. 299-307.
Where do I fit within PYTI®?
Depending on your current level of practice, PYTI® has different ways to benefit you. Click your category below to learn more.