Alyssa Wostrel

Without access to basic care, integrative medicine can’t move forward


The integrative community has the power to change the healthcare system by providing access to basic care. Alyssa Wostrel explains the importance of creating a solid foundation to build on.

The Interview

I think you have to start at a more basic level about access. First of all, access is about access to care, period — access to clean water, access to clean air, access to food.

There’s plenty of difficulties and challenges in the United States about poverty, and food deserts, and toxic environments. That all needs to be tackled under the umbrella of integrative care. We have to care about that. We can’t just care about acupuncture, and massage therapy, and chiropractic and naturopathic care.

That can’t be our focus because a lot of people can’t afford that. Until we can change the healthcare systems so everyone can afford that kind of care, that’s a tangent. All of that is important to this community, but it’s also important to this community that we look at the environment and the foundation. And the foundation for all of those practitioners is clean air, clean food, clean water, and a clean environment. Because without that, without those components, we don’t stand a chance anyway. So all the other great integrative care is still not really going to really be enough for us to thrive.

Secondly, it’s about addressing the health disparities — and we get people to care about that through the statistics.

The United States is doing so poorly in so many ways. We have shorter lives than many other countries. We have a chronic disease debt burden in the United States that is astronomical. We have a lot of poverty in our country. The integrative care offers an opportunity for us to start to change the paradigm a bit so that we have more health creation. That can start to shift the balance. That can create change.

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