Integrative Medicine

Alternative & Integrative Medicine

For more than a decade, Gundersen has offered many alternative or complementary medical services for patients. These are services that complement or assist with wellness when integrated with conventional medicine.

Patients may use integrative medicine for a variety of reasons:

  • For relief of symptoms or side effects while undergoing conventional treatments, such as nausea relief during cancer treatments
  • To help with pain or symptoms not alleviated by conventional medicine
  • To manage stress, anxiety, depression or anger
  • For insomnia or fatigue
  • To increase a sense of well-being

Patients seeking complementary medical services should receive those services under the supervision of a healthcare professional. That’s because some complementary therapies can mask symptoms or interact with medications. So consult your doctor before beginning any alternative therapies. By working with a medical provider who also offers integrative medicine, you can be sure what you’re taking is safe and in the most effective dose.

Integrative Medicine services and therapies

Gundersen Health System has long offered a number of complementary medical services because we believe in treating the whole person, not just a condition. Our integrative medical services are evidence-based therapies that complement more traditional forms of healthcare.

For your convenience, a number of our complementary medical services have been brought together at our Integrative Medicine Center at the Gundersen Onalaska Clinic.


Acupuncture uses hair-thin needles inserted at specific points in the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities, relieve pain and promote physical and emotional well-being. Used alone or integrated with other treatments, acupuncture may provide relief for:

  • Muscle and joint pain or fibromyalgia
  • Nausea from anesthesia or chemotherapy
  • Digestive problems such as nausea or gastritis
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Menopause-related symptoms such as cramps and hot flashes
  • Irregular/painful periods and premenstrual syndrome
  • Insomnia
  • Tension and stress-related problems
  • Pain and anxiety with surgery, childbirth, physical therapy
  • Smoking cessation

Available at Gundersen Viroqua Clinic and the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center.

Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurvedic medicine is holistic healing and good health based on a balance of mind, body and spirit. It and other holistic practices are offered at Gundersen.

Available at Gundersen Viroqua Clinic and the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center.


Biofeedback can help you learn how to make positive changes in your body in response to external stressors. It can help you reduce stress, control pain and improve your health. The goal of biofeedback is self-awareness and self-regulation of bodily responses. It may be used to control:

  • Migraine and tension headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety, panic attacks and other stress-related disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep disorders and more

With biofeedback, you may be able to reduce or eliminate the need for some medications.

Available from Gundersen Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Chiropractic manipulation

Chiropractic manipulation is a non-surgical, drugless way to optimize health, manage pain and improve function. A variety of techniques may be used based on your pain level, cause, age, activity level and medical history. It may be an option if you’re suffering with acute or chronic pain, radicular pain (radiating down the path of the nerve) and mechanical joint dysfunction. This includes:

  • Back pain
  • Disc injuries
  • Spinal arthritic conditions
  • Overuse injuries
  • Pregnancy-related back pain
  • Other types of mechanical back pain

Chiropractic manipulation is used independently or in conjunction with other treatments such as physical therapy or more advanced medical interventions. By taking a holistic approach, Gundersen chiropractors help patients maintain healthy musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and may reduce the need for pain medication or invasive procedures in some patients.

Available at the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center and Gundersen Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Dry needling

Dry needling or intramuscular manual therapy is a drug-free way to help stop muscle pain by deactivating a trigger point. Trigger points are tiny knots that develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. These spots are painful at their site, and can also cause “referred pain” in other areas. Dry needling may help you with headaches and migraines or muscle pain in your jaw, neck, shoulder, arm, back, buttock or leg.

Available at Gundersen Sports Medicine

Essential oils

Essential oils may be used if you’re experiencing pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia or for smoking cessation. When inhaled, essential oils trigger the limbic system. When applied to the feet, the active elements in the oils are absorbed. Some patients have described a change almost immediately. While essential oils are very safe when used correctly, Gundersen does not use them for children under age 2 or women in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Staff at our Integrative Medicine Center can talk to you about essential oils and what may work best for you.

Available at Gundersen Health Shop on the Onalaska Campus, and Gundersen Gift Shop on the La Crosse Campus with advice from the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center

Herbal therapy

Herbal therapy is used to balance the body’s nutritional well-being through dietary supplements and herbal medicines. If you are already using herbal supplements, inform your healthcare provider and report any symptoms or conditions you may be experiencing.

Available at the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center

Massage therapy

Massage therapy has many benefits:

  • Relieve stress and aid relaxation
  • Relieve muscle tension and stiffness
  • Improve circulation
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Promote a relaxed state of mental awareness
  • Reduce anxiety

A variety of massage is offered at Gundersen including relaxation, therapeutic, Swedish, deep tissue, sports, prenatal and others.

Available at Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center

Medical consultation

Medical consultation with a physician specially trained in Integrative Medicine can help answer questions about treatment options for treating symptoms and conditions such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety, depression and stress

Consultations may include assessment and guidance on:

  • Detoxification, anti-inflammation and elimination diet programs
  • Safety and effectiveness of botanical (herbal) therapies and dietary supplements, as well as interactions between herbs, vitamins, prescriptions and foods
  • Minimizing prescription medications, doses and/or side effects
  • The mind-body-spirit connection and its impact on health
  • Lifestyle medicine including nutrition, exercise, stress management and sleep
  • Coordination of care with your primary care provider and other providers including those in the Integrative Medicine Center
  • A personalized self-care plan

Available at Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center

Menopause help

Menopause help offers you natural therapies for dealing with the symptoms of menopause such as bioidentical hormone therapy and herbal therapy.

Available at Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center and the Gundersen Center for Women

Nicotine cessation programs

Nicotine cessation programs can help you quit tobacco use. Gundersen offers a variety of programs and support.

Details and class schedules


Nutraceuticals are natural substances found in food and have medicinal properties to treat and prevent certain diseases. They can be added to your diet by increasing consumption of certain foods or you can take them as nutritional supplements. Nutraceuticals are offered and can be custom ordered through the Gundersen Pharmacies in La Crosse and Onalaska.

Available at the Gundersen Integrative Medicine Center

Nutrition counseling

Nutrition counseling can be helpful when you need disease-specific nutrition guidance for:

  • Renal or gastrointestinal issues
  • Cancer- or heart-related nutrition concerns
  • Nutritional needs as part of recovery during a hospitalization
  • The control of cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and weight

Available from Gundersen Nutrition Therapy


Prolotherapy (regenerative injection therapy) uses a mild irritant solution injected into an injured ligament or tendon at the point where it attaches to the bone. It is designed to increase blood flow to a chronic injury and stimulate the body’s natural healing. The goal is less pain and inflammation, and improved function. Prolotherapy can play an important role if you:

  • Have musculoskeletal complaints that are not compatible with a surgical option
  • Would like to consider alternatives to surgery
  • Continue to have pain or dysfunction despite interventions

Available at Gundersen Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Other approaches

Please note, not all services may be covered by insurance. Please check with your insurance provider.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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