June 6, 2023

Dr. Canfield brings integrative medicine with her new Sebewaing business.
The words “integrative medicine” might be confused with “alternative medicine.” However, what Dr. Cheryl Canfield brings to her new business in Sebewaing, opened in May 2022, isn’t that. Integrative medicine instead focuses on providing complimentary remedies to regular medicine and getting the patient involved in keeping their own health.
Canfield is a graduate of Peck High School in Sanilac County, earning her undergraduate degree from Lake Superior State University and her doctorate from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. However, she was always interested in other branches of medicine, finding ways to be the least invasive as possible but still help the patient feel better. She wants to help people take care of themselves, she said, not be reliant on someone else.
It wasn’t until she attended a conference in Tucson, Arizona that she discovered integrated medicine, which seemed to offer her a branch of medicine that helped patients become self-reliant in their own health. After that conference, she attended the University of Arizona Andrew Well Center for Integrative Medicine, one of the first colleges dedicated to its study.
“They didn’t say ‘Just take this’ or whatever,” she recalled. “They were presenting evidence-based medicine.”
Canfield felt, and still feels, that modern American healthcare has become less about actual healthcare and more about prescribing whatever new medicine the patient last saw on TV, being sold by a big company. These medications can be needed, she acknowledged, but she feels that most of the time it’s companies making a fortune on people not knowing what to do for their health.
“I’m not just going to tell someone to go out and take something because the latest commercial on TV said that’s what it’d be good for,” she said.
What Canfield does with integrative medicine is not only take a close look at medications before prescribing them, without insurance companies breathing down her neck to do so, but look at every single aspect of a patient’s life to determine what will make them the healthiest they can be. All that she does with her patient must be evidence-based, she said, so their issues can be properly addressed.
“It’s difficult for complicated things to get addressed,” she explained. “The difference is that I take the time with (the condition) because that’s what I’m treating.”
Sometimes, that does require antibiotics and prescriptions. At other times, it requires a change in lifestyle or a supplement to a treatment the patient’s already taking. If a patient has cancer, for example, they obviously need treatment, but Canfield can provide complimentary medicine that helps them get through the process, rather than “alternatives.”
“There’s no 100% fix for everything and sometimes it takes a combination of Western and complimentary medicine,” she said.
Though her business officially opened in May, Canfield has only started seeing patients since the beginning of June. It took time to get the word out about her business, as well as getting the space prepared and equipment ordered.
According to Canfield, integrative medicine is practiced many other places across the world, though it hasn’t made it to the Midwest United States until recently. With her new business, she hopes to bring better health to the Thumb.


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