Integrative Healthcare and the Mindd Foundation

Mindd Foundation

Integrative Healthcare

Mindd Foundation: Keeping you Informed on Integrative Healthcare

The mission of Mindd Foundation is to help practitioners, carers, patients, educators and families discover, understand and implement effective integrative healthcare for a range of chronic health issues.

It is our belief that knowledge is power and as such, we aim to empower our readers. To this end, this column will explore integrative healthcare topics and treatment information, based on the latest research and evidence-based ideas.

Integrative healthcare – A new paradigm

This article introduces you to the concept of integrative healthcare, a multidisciplinary approach involving a team of professionals trained in a range of modalities. This includes nutritional and environmental medicine, musculoskeletal care, natural therapies, neuro-developmental therapies, psychology, exercise, lifestyle and more.

Integrative healthcare involves professionals from a range of disciplines working together to deliver comprehensive care. The aim is to address as many of the patient’s health concerns and other needs as possible. Professionals function as a team under one organisational umbrella or come together as a unique team from a range of organisations, including private practice. As a patient’s condition changes, the composition of the team may change accordingly, to reflect the clinical and psychosocial needs of the patient.1

Autism – one of many disorders that needs an integrative approach

At Mindd Foundation we talk a lot about autism. This neurodevelopmental disorder affects 1 in 90 Australian children and 1 in 68 American children.

Autism is the tip of the iceberg in a range of chronic diseases that are affecting children at younger and younger ages. It is at the point where large numbers of children are dealing with allergies, asthma, anxiety, diabetes, obesity and even arthritis. This dramatic increase in childhood conditions poses an alarming threat to our children and society.

Autism is the ultimate multi-faceted disorder that requires an integrative approach to treatment. Research shows that best practice for ASD is a team approach involving parents, carers, educators, family and expert health professionals.2

Nutritionally trained practitioners are essential for integrative healthcare

Biochemical imbalances and intestinal bacteria disturbances are common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as they are in a wide range of chronic illnesses.3, 4

For this reason, Mindd Foundation recommends a doctor or health professional specialising in nutritional medicine as the first step. These practitioners are adept at personalised care and cellular health; removing what is bad and putting in what is good in order to benefit the cells that make up the body.

They are also very skilled at treating other conditions that individuals with autism often have, including;

  • ADHD
  • allergies
  • anxiety
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • dyslexia
  • dyspraxia
  • eczema
  • food sensitivities
  • infections
  • inflammation
  • learning and language delay
  • metabolic dysfunction
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • oppositional defiance disorder (ODD)
  • Oxidative Stress
  • sensory processing disorder (SPD)
  • sleep and eating disorders
  • mood and behavioural disorders and many more.

The acronym for MINDD – Metabolic, Immunologic, Neurologic, Digestive and Developmental – refers to the inter-connectedness of seemingly separate conditions. The Mindd Foundation promotes effective, evidence-based treatments, including the education of the community, encouraging best practice for all individuals.

Meeting the challenges of complex disorders

The challenge with multi-faceted disorders like ASD, ADHD or sensory processing disorder is that one modality or treatment will not address all of the issues. However, once biochemical imbalances are addressed, the body and brain are in a much better state to respond to other therapies, including:

  • behavioural
    • such as social skills training, applied behavioural analysis (ABA), Relationship Development Intervention® (RDI) and Son-rise
  • neurological
    • such as occupational therapy (OT), sensory integration, speech therapy
  • physical
    • such as osteopathy and chiropractic care

Treating the cause not just the symptoms

Integrative healthcare practitioners are trained to identify and treat underlying causes, not just provide symptomatic relief. In the case of nutritional medicine (as it is with Functional Medicine), treatment starts with a very detailed case history and a series of blood, stool, urine and/or saliva tests. This testing enables patients to receive individualised advice on diet, supplements and lifestyle to address the underlying cause of illness.

Integrated healthcare is a holistic treatment approach

Integrative healthcare is an art and a science, whereby layering various treatments leads to optimal outcomes. It requires a well-informed case manager who can select and sequence treatments. In the long run, this knowledge can save time and money.

Knowing how to select and sequence treatments is critical to optimising healthcare outcomes and can save time and money.

However, with integrative healthcare in its infancy, parents and patients have often had to be the case managers and manage their own care.

Since 2005, Mindd Foundation has assisted educating parents and patients by providing information on a range of conditions and effective treatments, including lifestyle.

At the same time, with the assistance of world experts, the Mindd Foundation has been training practitioners in evidence-based nutritional medicine and other relevant therapies.  We have also partnered with other practitioner training programs to promote certified practitioners well-trained in the latest in Integrative, Functional and Natural therapies.  Visit our Practitioner Directory to find a practitioner near you.

Because connecting educated patients with well-trained practitioners leads to optimal healthcare outcomes.

The optimal path towards your health goals

  1. Work with an experienced integrative practitioner. Mindd Foundation recommends starting with a MAPS and Mindd-trained practitioner who has a strong background in nutritional and environmental medicine and a good appreciation of the natural, neuro and behavioural therapies that can help. A directory of these practitioners is available at org.
  2. Before your first appointment, research the condition and treatment options at org, GreenMedinfo, and other organisations that experienced parents and patients recommend.
  3. Attend the meeting with a list of the symptoms and an open heart and mind to new treatments and to changing lifelong habits.

These three steps will help you feel more in control and provide a plan of action with an integrated approach towards improved health and wellbeing. Mindd Foundation wants to take you all to a new place of hope in the paradigm of integrative healthcare.

Leslie Embersits,
Founding Director, Mindd Foundation



  1. Mitchell GK, Tieman JJ, Shelby-James TM. Multidisciplinary care planning and teamwork in primary care. Med J Aust. 2008;188(8 Suppl): S61-4.
  2. Wilkinson LA. Best practice guide to assessment and intervention for Autism and Asperger syndrome in schools. London, GBR: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2010. p52
  3. Frye RE, Rose S, Slattery J, et al. Gastrointestinal dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder: The role of the mitochondria and the enteric microbiome. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2015;26:27458.
  4. Angelis MD, Piccolo M, Vannini L, et al. Fecal microbiota and metabolome of children with autism and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. PLoS One. 2013;8(10).

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