Integrative Medicine: About Us

Green leaf on stone in rock garden

“Supporting people on their journey to realizing wholeness”

At the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program we treat the whole person – mind, body and spirit – and are dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health and well-being in all aspects of life.

About Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine brings together practices once-considered “alternative” medicine, combining those with the latest research and medical technology, to foster the connection between the mind, body and spirit that is often missing in conventional medicine. >

Integrative medicine is an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health. [1]

The defining principles of integrative medicine are:

  • The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  • All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration, including body, mind, spirit and community.
  • Providers use all healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
  • Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
  • Good medicine is based in good science. It is inquiry driven and open to new paradigms.
  • Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  • The care is personalized to best address the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances. Practitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development. [2]

At the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program, we are redefining personalized care by addressing all aspects of a patient’s well-being. Establishing a partnership between patient and practitioner is essential in providing a treatment plan that achieves optimal health. 

Program History

Launched in 2013, the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program is led by the first fellowship-trained Integrative medicine physician in Gainesville, Irene M. Estores, M.D. The UF Health Integrative Medicine Program is a part of the UF College of Medicine’s Department of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine.

The program initially began out of interest from the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine to extend the hospital-based yoga, massage and meditation services they offered directly to the patients. Recognizing that an integrative approach to healing best addresses the needs of the whole person –mind, body and spirit – they established a partnership with the UF Department of Medicine to develop an integrative medicine program. With local philanthropic support, commitment from the College of Medicine and the UF Health Shands Hospital, they recruited Dr. Estores to develop and grow this program.

UF Health Integrative Medicine utilizes safe and effective therapies from both conventional medicine and traditional healing practices, like medical acupuncture and meditation, to provide patients with an evidence-informed, non-pharmacological health plan to help achieve their goals.

Since its inception, the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program has grown to include Marika Alois, M.D., to provide integrative medicine consults and David McMahon, A.P., a board certified practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Learn more about the UF Health Integrative Medicine Program.

Give to the Integrative Medicine Program

Make a gift