Best of Both Worlds


Integrative Healing combines Eastern and Western philosophies of healing

Ziya Altug, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1989 with a degree in physical therapy. In the 29 years that have ensued, his experiences have taught him that when it comes to healing the human body, no two minds think alike.

However, depending on geography and other cultural factors, they can think similarly. That was the inspiration for Altug, who resides in Los Angeles, to author Integrative Healing, a book designed to allow practitioners and patients alike to “take charge of your personal wellness from the comfort of your own home.”

Dr. Altug has spent the majority of his career working in orthopedic rehabilitation while dabbling in writing over time. Through the years, he’s discussed different pain management techniques without the use of medication with countless patients.

“Relaxation, self-hypnosis, meditation,” he offered as examples. “And a few patients asked whether I’d considered writing a book.”

So it was that Dr. Altug collaborated with a publisher to develop Integrative Healing, culminating in its publication on May 1 of this year. It’s a 320-page testament to a career spent healing the body while expanding the mind’s ability to view rehabilitation through ‘alternative’ techniques that, over time, are becoming more and more mainstream.

“We’re incorporating both Eastern and Western medicine into one,” Dr. Altug explained. “In Western medicine, we have certain ways of doing physical therapy—exercise, patient education. In the East, they incorporate yoga, tai chi, meditation. They also include aromatherapy and essential oils.

“Honestly, my published came up with the title, but the idea emerged from the combination of those two philosophies.”
Dr. Altug admitted his original idea for a title was “Mind-Body Medicine” but either way, the multiple ideas for physical healing were incorporated from the start.

Integrative Healing is divided into four sections:

  1. Lifestyle Medicine: management of stress, control of sleep patterns, nutrition, and sustainable exercise
  2. Integrative Movement: yoga, tai chi, Pilates, Alexander Techniques and other modalities for healing
  3. Western Exercise: practical exercise routines commonly used in the United States and Western culture
  4. Self-Care

“They’re all things that patients and clients can use to heal themselves faster, lose weight, and track progress,” Dr. Altug summarized.

With all the negative attention paid to opioid-based medications these days, the idea of considering any and all alternatives for healing is one whose time has come.

“I talk to people in acupuncture, chiropractic—lots of professionals that we in Western medicine refer to as ‘alternatives’—but that’s just what they do. We call it alternative,” he explained. “But clearly, there are strategies beyond taking medicine to help a person control pain.”

At the same time, something as simple and seemingly unrelated as a good night’s sleep can serve to compound the pain an individual experiences. That’s why Integrative Healing suggests sleep management and stress-coping strategies in addition to laying out day-by-day exercise routines to incorporate in physical recovery.

Dr. Altug continues to hone his writing skills as a consultant on a book by Romy Phillips, MFA, E-RYT500, C-IAYT, entitled Yoga Forma: A Visual Resource Guide for the Spine and Lower Back. He also has a proposal out to a publisher for another book on alternative pain management.

“The book would be focused on evidence-based research, and how to use it to specifically manage pain,” he explained. “We’ll see where it goes, whether a publisher decides to pick it up.”

To learn more about Dr. Altug’s book, or to purchase a copy of Integrative Healing or Yoga Forma: A Visual Resource Guide for the Spine and Lower Back, visit


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About Author

Rob Senior
Rob Senior

Rob has 15 years of experience writing and editing for healthcare. He previously worked for ADVANCE from 2002 to 2012.

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