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Media Contact: Heidi Press Carr, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662

SJMO to Open Center for Integrative Medicine
Start Date

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland to Open Center
for Integrative Medicine

New Center to Promote Wellness and Healing of Body, Mind and Spirit Through Alternative Medicine

Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) will open its new Center for Integrative Medicine September 30, 2013 on the first floor of the main hospital.

Harsha Jayatilake, MD, is the medical director of the new center.  A member of the St. Joe’s Medical Staff, Dr. Jayatilake is board certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine.

The Center for Integrative Medicine will provide therapies that complement conventional medicine. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that looks at the whole person—physical, emotional, spiritual—and includes all aspects of his/her lifestyle and environment. It makes use of all appropriate therapies, both from alternative medicine and conventional medicine.

“We are excited to make this new offering available to our associates, physicians and the general public,” said Jack Weiner, SJMO President and CEO.  “It enhances the traditional award-winning care provided by our skilled staff and encourages individuals to take charge of their health and wellness.  We hope our Center for Integrative Medicine will help relieve the everyday stress we all experience in our lives by healing the body, mind and spirit.”

According to Jayatilake, these alternative therapies have been practiced for thousands of years around the world, and by about 80 percent of Americans today.  They are evidenced-based practices that partner with traditional medicine, not replace it.  “It’s not Woodstock stuff,” explains Jayatilake.  “The National Institutes of Health have funded research that proves the effectiveness of these modalities.”

Among the initial offerings are acupuncture, meditation, guided imagery and therapeutic massage. Practices such as acupuncture can relieve pregnancy-induced nausea, chemotherapy-induced nausea and fatigue and stress-induced muscle pain and headaches.  Therapeutic massage can reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Acupuncture refers to procedures or techniques that activate body points to release the body’s natural chemicals, promoting natural healing and body function.  It is distinguished by placing thin, solid, metallic needles to penetrate the skin or using electrical stimulation on targeted body points.
  • Meditation uses specific techniques involving posture, focus and relaxation. Guided Imagery techniques induce a relaxation response through visualization. Both Meditation and Guided Imagery promote overall well-being and ease various health conditions, such as anxiety, pain, depression, stress and insomnia.
  • Therapeutic Massage uses touch techniques to manipulate muscles and soft tissues manipulation aimed to promoting circulation and relaxation and an overall sense of health and well-being for the client. This complementary treatment is particularly effective for reducing pain, relieving chronic neck and upper body pain, low-back pain, anxiety, stress and more.

 Services will be provided by a physician that is board certified in both integrative medicine and traditional medicine as well as Certified Massage therapists.

The Center for Integrative Medicine is open to St. Joe’s associates, physicians and their families and the general public.

For information about the center, call 248-858-9580.

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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland | 44405 Woodward Avenue, Pontiac, Michigan 48341 | 248-858-3000