The Institute for Functional Medicine defines functional medicine as:
“Functional Medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease.”
What exactly is the meaning of functional medicine mean in layman’s terms?
It is personalized medicine
- We encourage you to share with us your unique story. Please make sure you give us complete and relevant details. Sharing your story will help you identify your medical complications.In addition, our certified, trained practitioners will assess the internal and external factors (genetic, environmental, diet and lifestyle) that affect your overall mental and physical health and well-being.
- Next step, we will identify the root causes of your condition. This will be accompanied with a thorough checkup and some tests.
- We will then inform you about effective lifestyle habits with the aim of empowering you to balance your body. From figuring out a dietary and nutritional plan catering to your specific needs to identifying the right sleep and workout regime, we will touch upon every single detail. Moreover, we will help you identify and manage your stress triggers.
- In many cases, patients may require supplementation to promote healthy functioning and maintaining optimal health.
- Last but not least, you may be called for a follow-up to address any issues you may face later on. Follow up appointments include personal consultations and group support sessions.
It follows a natural approach
Functional medicine has a biological approach to health. It focuses on assessing the internal imbalances we face.
Absorption: Includes what you absorb into your body via the skin, lungs and gut
- Protection and repair: The body’s defense against toxins and balance restoration
- Energy: The production of energy in the body
- Elimination: Elimination of toxins from the body
- Communication: The management of information required by the body to perform functions
- Transport: The circulation of energy and information across the body
- Structural integrity: The maintenance of the body structure
The human body is no doubt complex to understand but truly magnificent.
It is powerful
Did you know that you possess all the necessary tools to lead a healthy life? After establishing the root causes of your feelings and emotions, we can help you to resolve them. We strive to deal with them safely and strategically. Through functional medicine, we can uncover the underlying causes of health issues that were impossible to diagnose or resolve in the past. We feel empowered to have this know-how at our hands.
Functional medicine can help you to achieve your best health.
Although you may want to look and feel healthy, everyday stressors can take a toll on your body. They can cause imbalances and diseases. This can make it exceedingly difficult for us to live a quality life.
Once we explore the causes of your symptoms, you can achieve a healthy, happy life again. Moreover, it will help you to prevent future diseases.
It is teamwork
Keep in mind, functional medicine is about you. With a collaborative approach, our trained practitioners will work with you to identify and implement a plan that suits your diet, nutrition and lifestyle needs.
You can learn more about it here.
As a patient-focused approach to health care, functional medicine assesses and addresses the underlying cause of a disease or disorder. It takes into consideration the interactions between different factors, such as genetic, environmental and lifestyle, that can affect an individual’s health and well-being. As per functional medicine, a person is likely to experience declining health condition before the formation of a chronic disease. Diabetic patients, for example, tend to experience metabolic dysfunction years before their diagnosis. With the aim of restoring balance, energy and function in the body, functional medicine can improve an individual’s health.
Functional medicine is well-suited to resolve healthcare issues and needs encountering people today. This is because of the increasing number of people suffering from severe conditions, including but not limited to, cancer; diabetes; heart disease; mental illness; osteoporosis and autoimmune disorders.
‘A pill for an ill’ treatment model might not necessarily work for these conditions. It is important to understand that the US has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world. Every year, 100 million Americans are treated for degenerative diseases for over $700 billion. Despite these high costs, our health is not improving.
Many people mistakenly assume that that disease is a normal part of growing older. Contrary to popular belief, aging does not contribute to disease. In fact, as people get older, they experience functional imbalances that eventually lead to disease. However, you can prevent this from occurring via functional medicine.
At its root, functional medicine assesses core imbalances in the body that can lead to disease. These imbalances include hormonal imbalances; detoxification imbalances; neurotransmitter imbalances; cellular function imbalances; immune / inflammatory imbalances; absorptive or digestive imbalances and structural imbalances.
Do not think of functional medicine as alternative medicine. It is, in fact, a clinically sound, research and evidence-based medicine model. It seeks to eliminate the source of the disease.
The following are its core principles:
- Healing an individual completely. This includes assessing their lifestyle, environment and hereditary factors.
- Comprehending an individual’s specific biochemical status
- Examining the link between different internal physiological factors.
Functional medicine ensures an individual’s vitality and longevity via a fully functioning body. It can help you live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Functional Medicine vs. Conventional Medicine
The Institute for Functional Medicine Vice-Chairman, Mark Hyman, M.D., explains the difference between both models using a real-life practice experience. He talks about a young girl suffering from an autoimmune disease. The difference is this: Conventional medicine suppresses the inflammation in his patient, whereas functional medicine assesses and addresses the root cause of the inflammation. It analyzes the scientific drivers of the disease, including infection, toxins, allergens, stress or poor diet.