As the temperatures climb, school winds down and the days get longer, it’s time to put health and wellness on the forefront. There’s nothing better than a Chicago summer, and with the unique portfolio of natural treatment plans at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University (Osher Center), you can look and feel your best this season.
The Osher Center is a leader in innovative integrative medicine—combining Western medicine with science-based therapies, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, energy medicine, and chiropractic care, all while looking at the body from a mind-body-spirit perspective.
Dr. Melinda Ring, who has served as Executive Director of the Osher Center since 2007, oversees the clinical programs, medical trainee education, and emerging research in the field of integrative medicine, as well as sees patients on a consultative basis.
“[We see] people who are more proactive in their care to prevent disease, optimize aging, and are looking for more personalized treatment options,” says Dr. Ring.
The center, which is located in downtown Chicago, treats patients from across the Chicagoland area. Jim Karas, a Chicago resident, author, speaker and founder of Jim Karas Intelligent Fitness & Wellness, is one of thousands of Osher Center patients whose health has been transformed.
“I am extremely devoted to preventative care,” says Karas, who also is the chair of the Osher Center’s philanthropic advisory council, IM AWARE. “[Dr. Ring] helps determine inflammation levels, and inflammation is the gateway to disease. There are a lot of ways the center can help you uncover what, in the past, you had to go about by chance. Now you actually have the data in front of you.”
Glencoe’s Karen Malkin, an AzCIM Certified Integrative Health Coach and Lifestyle Practitioner and chair of the Osher Center Benefit, knows how important it is to feel energized, as patients are active with their families this season. As one of Dr. Ring’s earliest patients, she calls the Osher Center a “little secret” in Chicago because the center works with patient’s primary care physicians and integrative physicians to determine the best treatment plans for each person.
One of the Osher Center’s major initiatives is their Food is Medicine program, which helps patients create a healthy relationship with food and learn more about the nutrients our bodies need to fight disease naturally. Malkin says that one of the most powerful tools we have is our fork. This season (and every season), what we put on our fork is crucial to achieving our health goals.
“What we eat has a dramatic impact on how we feel,” she says. “Food can be very healing. There are a lot of healing benefits in spices and in herbs. What you choose to put in your mouth is going to have a direct impact on your long-term health and your risk for developing chronic diseases.”
Malkin provides three crucial tips for this season to help people feel energized, healthy and happy:
1) Eat seasonally and visit your local farmer’s market;
2) Eat a rainbow of colors; and
3) Have your plate contain 50 percent colored vegetables, 25 percent protein and 25 percent complex whole grain.
Malkin notes that eating a rainbow of foods is crucial because every color has a different health benefit.
“When you add in nutrient-dense foods and colorful fruits and vegetables, they will crowd out cravings for the foods that make us sick,” she says, adding that she is here to help people form a healthy relationship with food.
“Food is the solution, not the problem,” she says. “Find pleasure in food, slow down with your food, eat mindfully, and don’t eat in front of the computer or TV. Really being present with your food is going to help naturally create the body you’re meant to have in a healthy way.”
With one of the country’s most advanced integrative medicine facilities in the heart of Chicago, the Osher Center is teeming with expert health professionals and effective treatments that can completely transform lives with the patient at the center of his or her healing.
“You don’t need a physician referral to try acupuncture, naturopathy, chiropractic care, or energy medicine,” says Dr. Ring. “Experiencing treatments is ultimately the best way to see how certain things work for you and benefit your health.”
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University is located at 150 East Huron Avenue, Suite 1100, in Chicago, 312-926-3627 office. For more information, visit ocim.nm.org/.