Two decades ago Functional Medicine became a viable means for physicians to treat chronic or complex illnesses. Functional Medicine Practitioners employ integrative medicine principles to discover and treat the underlying causes of disease. Science-based, Functional Medicine utilizes the laboratory testing of modern mainstream medicine as well as a careful assessment of the patient’s history, including environmental and genetic factors which contribute to the patient’s condition.
Functional Medicine is Patient-Centered Medicine
Unlike the acute care model of traditional western medicine, Functional Medicine does not apply a standard protocol to each problem. This is not “one-size-fits-all” medicine. Through the unique partnership between patient and doctor, Functional Medicine produces a comprehensive plan for maximizing the health of the individual. Beyond alleviating symptoms or slowing the progression of disease, the corrected imbalances and lifestyle changes resulting from the Functional approach promote wellness and vitality for the whole patient.
The Roots of Functional Medicine
Alternative Medicines are time-proven therapies not generally associated with our Western model of mainstream medicine. Within this group are holistic medicine, naturopathy, energy healing, healing touch, acupuncture and stress management techniques such as mind body medicine and meditation. For many years a patient had to choose either mainstream medicine or alternative therapies. Integrative medicine was the first alternative medicine to combine the benefits of science-based mainstream medicine with complementary alternative therapies.
A more specific, targeted form of integrative medicine, Functional Medicine delves more deeply into the background of the patient, in mind, body and spirit, than other approaches. Rather than treating a set of symptoms, the Functional Medicine practitioner seeks to discover and treat the source of the imbalance which has led to illness. The practitioner understands that an imbalance can affect multiple systems within the body and mind, and treats the patient from a holistic perspective. Functional medicine integrates the best of traditional medicine with scientifically relevant alternative medicines.