From massage therapy to energy healing techniques, Nurse Practitioner Diana Drake, DNP, APRN, WHNP, wants women to have options when seeking care through University of Minnesota Health.
Drake is the program director for the women’s integrative health program at the Women’s Health Specialists Clinic, located on the West Bank of our University of Minnesota Medical Center campus in Minneapolis. The program takes an integrative and collaborative approach to healthcare, combining the best of modern medicine with alternative or complementary therapies customized to fit the needs of each patient.
“In the past, acupuncture and massage therapy were not included in treatment approaches, and now they’re offered at many clinics,” she said. “There’s been a shift incrementally to be more inclusive of other therapies that can be combined with conventional Western therapies.”
These techniques, Drake said, can help patients who don’t respond well to traditional medications—or those who want to use a therapy to complement their other ongoing treatments.
Nationwide, more women than men seek out integrative care, Drake said. At the Women’s Health Specialists Clinic, our care teams offer gynecologic care, pregnancy and birth services, psychotherapy, mammograms, pharmacist consultations and many other options. All patients can work with their providers to infuse integrative therapies into their medical care.
When Drake joined the clinic staff in 2012, she worked with an inter-professional clinic leadership team including Family Medicine Physician Carolyn Torkelson, MD, the director of integrative health for the Women’s Health Specialists Clinic, and Obstetrician/Gynecologist Carrie Terrell, MD, the medical director of the clinic, to establish an inclusive environment for integrative therapies.
The clinic’s integrative care team includes a functional nutritionist, an acupuncturist and a Reiki provider who offers a Japanese-based healing technique. The clinic has added a massage therapist and a Tibetan medicine provider, and will continue to expand integrative options in the future as it aligns with patient demand.
Women can be referred to the clinic by their primary provider or specialty provider—or they can contact the clinic directly if they’re interested in receiving care.
“We see adult women throughout their lifespan who want to learn about their medical options,” Drake said.
“It is not as simple as recommending one treatment over another; we take a holistic and integrative approach,” Drake added. “We ask: What aspects of your life that are being affected by a health issue? How can we work together to bring a healthy balance to your life?”