The medical world and patients alike are searching for new solutions to chronic diseases that will not only mask symptoms but lead to full recovery, and some of these questions and answers will be explored at the second South African Congress of Integrative Medicine (SASIM), on Saturday November 17 and Sunday November 18, at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West.
“At this stage of Integrative medicine (IM), each one of us is still a pioneer,” says the conference chair, Dr Leila Sadien, integrative GP.
“We all have one thing in common… we are inventing this wheel together. This is such a critical time, not only in Africa, but globally, that we cannot afford to miss out on opportunities to learn from global experts in this field.
“Nor can we afford to not support courageous efforts like these, in encouraging the medical community to learn about, accept and support Integrative Medicine. For those who are still new to the science, our conference is a wonderful opportunity to become part of this community of healers, who have been at the forefront of this emerging speciality since its inception,” says Dr Sadien.
Dr Siobhan Dawson, who is an integrative psychiatrist, says: “Functional and integrative medicine is currently the fastest growing speciality in medicine.
“As a psychiatrist, I realised that we too often dispensed medicines for symptom relief without comprehensively understanding the root cause of illness. I want to practice precise, personalised, evidence based medicine which explores the whole patient.
“For example, it is not enough to dispense antidepressants for a client experiencing low mood and lack of energy. I want to know how to address digestion, gut function, hormonal issues, understand the relationship between insulin resistance and hypothyroidism and the role stress plays in the gut-brain axis.
“I want to support the development of this new frontier in medical health care to revolutionise a system that is burdened with chronic health issues, the majority of which can be cured through precise lifestyle measures,” adds Dr Dawson.
“I look forward to the conference because of the wonderful networking opportunity with like-minded colleagues. There was such a good vibe at the first conference last May… I want more of it,” says Dr David Nye, integrative GP.
“The congress is such a great opportunity to hear some excellent speakers, all specialists in their fields, talk about common illness that we often see and how to manage them in a holistic, integrative way,” says Dr Renee Usdin, integrative GP.
“We are guaranteed some new insights and cutting edge tools with which to treat our clients. Personally, I also find it incredibly useful to see what new products and technologies are out there and also to use the time between talks to meet new colleagues and connect with old ones,” she adds.
International speakers on current diseases:
Dr Ernest Buitendag is an anaesthetist in Port Elizabeth, who will share interesting insights into the use of medicinal cannabis. We need to learn so much about it, in preparation for it being fully legalised here in South Africa.
Dr Kojo Carew from Sierra Leone has done work with ozone in West Africa, in treating Ebola and other epidemics. He heads up the West African Society of Integrative Medicine, so we hope to foster a good relationship between it and SASIM,” says Dr David Nye, chairman of SASIM.
Dr Louise Lindenberg is a local autism spectrum specialist, and will talk about how to identify and treat patients on the spectrum, using diet, supplements and various other techniques she has honed over the years.
Dr John Parker, from Lentegeur Hospital in Cape Town, is a home-grown medical revolutionary, practicing psychiatry in one of the most notorious and deprived areas in the area.
He had an extraordinary vision that hasn’t just affected in-patients, but has transformed the community, impacted stigma, created sustainability and boosted staff morale. He will explore how health practitioners often have brilliant simple solution, but how do we implement them to inspire change?
Dr Carolyn Ross has pioneered comprehensive treatment programmes in the United States for eating disorders, binge eating and obesity.
South Africa has one of the fastest growing rates of obesity. Can we afford to approach this epidemic in the traditional ways if it has such poor outcomes? She and other speakers will share insights including endocrinology, autoimmunity, women’s health and integrative treatment for mood disorders.
Dr Michelle Perro is a veteran integrative paediatrician, with over 35 years of experience. She recently published a book, What’s making our children sick, which explores the link between food and childhood chronic illness.
She has both directed and worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth Pediatrics.
She is currently lecturing and consulting as well as working with Gordon Medical Associates, an integrative health center in Northern California.
Dr Felice Gersch is an integrative OB/GYN and is the director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, which focuses on holistic women’s health.
Outside of clinical practice, she is a speaker and lecturer and a prolific writer on numerous topics relevant to women’s health. She is currently writing her first book, which is due to be released soon.
She has also been awarded the Orange County Medical Association’s “Physician of the Year” award for the last 13 years consecutively, and Southern California’s “Super Doctor” award for the last several years.
She also served as Assistant Clinical Professor of OB/GYN at Keck USC School of Medicine for 12 years, for which she was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award.
Says the founder of SASIM, Dr Bernard Brom: “Integrative medicine is functioning at the frontier edge of a new medicine which will encompass and include the new science of quantum consciousness, Newtonian science pushed to its edges and a very robust doctor-patient relationship which touches clearly into the art of medicine,” says Dr Brom.
“Integrative doctors are already dealing with these new parameters and developing a paradigm to take us all into this expanded way of thinking about health and ill health.
“The congress has great speakers to enrich our experience but meeting other integrative doctors and sharing in the energy of this exciting form of medicine is just as valuable and enriching,” he says.
All doctors and practitioners are invited, who want to learn about more effective and deeply restorative ways to effect real and sustained health in their patients.
Call 021 855 0518 or visit www.integrativemedicine.co.za, and for the programme, visit www.integrativemedcongress.com
Elma Pollard, who lives and works in Somerset West, is the administrator of SASIM. She is the editor of The Green Times, which was honoured with the 20th place in Feedspot’s Top 100 Environmental Blogs on the Planet. Elma is also a former contributor of environmental articles to Bolander.