Hello, and allow me to introduce myself! My name is Dr. Deepti Agarwal, and I am deeply honored and excited to join the wonderful team at Case Integrative Health as the Director of Integrative and Interventional Pain Management. From the minute I spoke with Dr. Kelley, I could tell we had symbiotic approaches to patient well-being, and that Case Integrative Health would be the right “home” for me to help patients heal. I am thrilled to see an increasing number of patients that are truly and deeply interested in taking charge of their health and advocating for themselves! I’m eager to jump in, get to work, and meet all of my wonderful patients- but before that, let me tell you a bit about me.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a deep fascination with how the human body works. I’ve been drawn to medicine in an almost primal way. As I grew, I became increasingly interested in how I could interact with others to help relieve suffering. I credit my grandmother as one of my earliest inspirations and the woman who first piqued my interest in the world of medicine. Watching her manage my grandfather’s Type-1 Diabetes was a masterclass in the power of combining naturopathic approaches and modern medicine. I would watch as she cooked up delicious, enticing meals that stabilized his blood sugar. Additionally, their everyday practice of breathwork and yoga were not only deeply fascinating- but I could observe their positive effect on my grandfather’s health. Food and lifestyle were as much medicine as his insulin injections. Using this combination, my grandfather led a full life deep into his 80s.
I took these early experiences on relieving suffering through integrative approaches with me through my western medical training in anesthesiology. I put them into practice whenever I can: with my patients in both prehabilitation and postoperative phases, as well as in my own life.
By the way, if you’re asking “What is prehabilitation? And how can lifestyle choices matter over prescriptions?” – you’re not alone. It’s a question I get often, and I’ll go deeper into this fascinating topic in future blog posts, but at its most basic, “prehabbing” means improving functional capability prior to surgery so you’re better able to withstand the post-surgical period. In other words- the goal is to get you to a better place physically before an operation. For example, research can draw a direct line between something as basic as improved breathing before surgery and reduced complications/recovery time after surgery. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6899232/
This is just one example of the power of combining Integrative with conventional medicine to produce better outcomes in the field of anesthesiology. Food is medicine. Movement is medicine. Mindfulness is medicine. This combination approach to wellness is deeply powerful and has the ability to not only relieve chronic suffering but aid in preventing future pain and complications. We’re only just starting to understand the “whys” underpinning these approaches, but seeing modern science unlock these mysteries makes this a very exciting field to be a part of.
Andrew Weil, a physician and another one of my inspirations once said of integrative medicine, “One day it will just be called good medicine”. I am excited for the day when integrative medicine will just be referred to as “good medicine.” Over the years, I have honed my expertise in creating interventions to help relieve my patient’s pain in a supportive and regenerative way (aka not just pain meds) while integrating “good medicine” into pain management. Particularly in a rehabilitation setting, it’s my job to not only relieve the root cause of my patients' suffering but to create longevity in their quality of life. This interventional and integrative approach helps you feel better now, but more importantly, gives you the tools to keep you well for the long term.
Nothing makes me happier than to see my patients begin to incorporate food, movement, and breath into their lives. I will work hand in hand with my patients to help find a lifestyle and medical plan that not only supports you in living your life, but inhabiting it to the fullest. This is my greatest honor. Next time you’re in the building, and you see me- don’t be afraid to say hi! I cannot wait to share in your voyage, and aid in any way that I can. Let’s learn together, and build a plan that works for you, not against you. I can’t wait to see where we go together.
In good health,
Get to know Dr. Agarwal:
Dr. Deepti Agarwal received her BA at the University of Pennsylvania, and her MD at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Dr. Agarwal completed her Anesthesiology residency at Northwestern University’s McGaw Medical Center, her Pain Management Fellowship at Cornell/Memorial-Sloan Kettering/Hospital for Special Surgery, and a Faculty Fellowship at Osher Integrative Medicine Center, Northwestern/UCSF. She has also completed the Helms Medical Acupuncture Training.