Functional Medicine is an evolution of modern medicine that addresses the underlying cause of disease, not just symptoms. It utilizes a powerful new clinical operating system designed to allow the clinician to personalize care for each patient.
A functional medicine physician operates as a human body detective, gathering data about a patient's overall condition by assessing lab values, genetics, experience, lifestyle, and environment factors. With the sources of the patient's condition accurately identified, the practitioner works alongside the patient to re-balance the body’s systems through diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. When the root causes are successfully addressed, the symptoms will often resolve without lifelong medications or treatment.
Whole Systems Oriented
Functional Medicine views patient health as a product of all systems working synergistically and efficiently. Each system and process within the body influences another. These systems must function properly on an independent level and communicate effectively with other related systems. Unlike conventional medicine that separates treatment by each system and symptom, Functional Medicine looks at the body as an interconnected whole and recognizes that approach as the cornerstone to identify the true cause of a disease or imbalance.
The outcome of a Functional Medicine protocol is deemed successful when that person is achieving their optimal level of health. The ultimate goal is to restore true health to each individual and teach them how to maintain that state of vitality. Diseases become chronic when symptoms are the focus. When the emphasis is on the root cause, the result is true health freedom.
Functional medicine is proactive in nature. By optimizing the state of health, each patient can reduce their chance of experiencing the suffering associated with chronic disease. Think of it this way, your genetics act as the blueprint, but it is your lifestyle and environment that act as the contractor that actually builds the house. This means you are not automatically subject to the diseases that your parents or grandparents suffered from. To give yourself the best chance to live a healthy life, it is imperative to focus on optimizing your strategies before a disease ever has a chance to be named. What if you have already been diagnosed with a condition? It is never too late to optimize your health! The body will heal when put in the optimal physical and mental environment which is what functional medicine aims to do.
What Makes Functional Medicine Different?
There is a time and a place for conventional medicine. We encourage all our patients to continue to seek guidance from their primary care provider, especially in acute situations. There are, however, several features unique to the functional medicine model that you may want to consider. Note: The conventional medical model refers to the current design of the typical medical system, but does not necessarily describe how all primary care providers operate their practices.