Northern Illinois Medical Group takes a new approach to healing

By Danny Ciamprone

The human body is a complex system of bones, cells, muscles and nerves.

When one of these mechanisms is damaged or malfunctions, some may assume this will result in surgery or prescription medicines.

In northern Illinois there are several alternatives to the conventional practices.

Northern Illinois Medical Group, 5301 E. State St. in Rockford, uses what it describes as traditional Chinese medicine as an effective means to treat medical conditions, physical pain, respiratory and sinus problems, digestive problems and allergies, as stated on its website. The organization’s methods include acupuncture, chiropractic work and diagnostic testing.

Melissa Adams, public relations director at Northern Illinois Medical Group, said the main goal is to reduce the number of medications people are taking because many of those medicines cause the ailments people need treatment for.

“When you have a cut you put a Band-Aid on it,” Adams said. “When we get sick, it’s the body’s way of telling us that something is going on inside, and the doctors here understand our methods vary from traditional Western medicine by trying to find what is causing those symptoms and treating the cause, not just putting a Band-Aid on it.”

Adams said the doctors use medicine in some situations, but it is used to compliment the treatments given. She also said they are a specialty clinic, not something that people should go to in case of an emergency.

“We don’t deal with crisis situations,” Adams said. “Like if you chop your hand off, we don’t deal with that. Or if you have a heart attack, you have to go to the emergency room. Afterward though, come see us because emergency rooms just put a bandage on what’s going on. They don’t fix you.”

Northern Illinois Medical Group also treats smoking and weight management through auricular, a form of acupuncture done to the ear with or without needles. Adams said nicotine shuts down your receptors and takes place of endorphins to control one’s emotions. Auricular reopens receptors and allows them to act naturally so the dependence for nicotine decreases.

Sharon Emanuelson, marketing and public relations director at Kishwaukee Community Hospital, 1 Kish Drive, said in certain situations patients will be referred to outside clinics for special treatment.

“We sometimes have a referral system for patients who need an alternative type of approach,” Emanuelson said. “Sometimes it’s for acupuncture or therapeutics.”

Emanuelson said Kishwaukee Hospital does have a pain management clinic and is now using non-invasive techniques to treat conditions that used to require surgery.

Some Kishwaukee Hospital patients are referred to Creative Therapeutics, Ltd., 3301 Resource Parkway. Physical therapist assistant Becky Rogers said the clinic does a lot of integrative manual therapy. The goal is to activate the body so it can send messages to the muscles, Rogers said.

“We work on relaxing the muscles and the nervous system,” Rogers said. “This helps the body to decrease in the muscle guarding, which will help to decrease pain and improve movement.”