When using the traditional, if somewhat outdated, framework of Western vs. Alternative Medicine, urgent care is clearly part of mainstream, western medicine. With few exceptions, rapid onset symptoms and conditions require direct intervention and acute care. One of the ways in which proponents of alternative medicine use urgent care is as a kind of substitute for primary care. They follow their own tenets for a healthy lifestyle, while seeking our urgent care as a kind of al a carte solution for their acute medical needs.


Seen a different way, however, urgent care is very much alternative medicine—with people of pretty much any medical background and proclivity calling it an “important alternative to emergency care.” Urgent care is also undergoing a rapid and dramatic transformation itself. From sleep disorders to allergies to physical therapy to weight loss, urgent care providers are offering a greater range of healthcare services that are more in line with chronic conditions that may respond better to long-term alternative medicine practices.


Put another way, if integrative medicine assimilates multiple medical philosophies into a holistic practice, it’s no surprise that urgent care centers have been the natural landing spot for implementing a more integrative medicine. Here are a few featured urgent care centers from around the country that are good examples of this trend:


Known as “acute alternative,” this urgent care clinic in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a range of primary care, supplements recommendations, and a Smoothie Bar, but what they’re perhaps best known for is their accredited sleep center and sleep disorders program.


Despite their reputations, most followers of alternative medicine want to do so under the guidance of a highly qualified medical professional. This Clemente, CA urgent care practice introduced new alternative medicine services after feedback from their patients indicated a lack of services in the area.


Some urgent care centers put their connection with alternative medicine front and center. This holistic urgent care center in Scottsdale, Arizona doesn’t just incorporate aspects of alternative medicine into its practice. They “accommodate acute illness, infections, and injuries with an emphasis on natural medical remedies and modalities whenever possible.”


More and more providers are combining urgent and comprehensive care services.

This metro Denver urgent care provider is pushing the boundaries of what healthcare services can be effectively offered at their sites. Their adult and pediatric clinic locations have services that include family medicine, occupational medicine, weight loss, mental health, physical therapy, and allergy care.


Health education, especially for parents and their kids, can be hugely important for the patient and their family to consistently make the best possible healthcare decisions. Urgent care providers are positioning themselves as a natural authority and arbiter over the practices and philosophies of alternative and traditional medicine. This Coppell, Texas pediatric urgent care center clearly and succinctly lays out the differences and commonalities, between alternative, western, and integrative medicine.


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