What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, western health care, and the latest in health care research, taking the best of each and combining them into an independent healing approach. This new approach is one that focuses on the cause of disease rather than focusing on symptoms. Through the concentration on symptoms, our health care system has gradually been converted to a disease care system, and functional medicine offers a viable approach to reverse this trend. To accomplish this, functional medicine practitioners view the body as a whole, taking into account nutritional, environmental, and genetic factors. Through active doctor-patient communication, functional medicine practitioners embrace the word doctor, which literally means teacher in Latin, allowing you to take control of your health.
Unfortunately, as the state of health has changed throughout our nation, our health care system has remained fairly stagnant in its approach to healing. While our country’s traditional approach to treatment was successful for the types of diseases present in 1920, it has grown less effective at treating the current epidemics of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. While the diseases of days gone by were typically of short duration and responded well to quick fixes such as surgery and medication, it has become increasingly evident that today’s chronic conditions require a different approach.
HOW IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE UNIQUE?
With chronic diseases currently spiraling out of control, it has been become increasingly obvious that a different health care approach is both needed and warranted. Instead of treating the disease once it is already present, doesn’t it make more sense to concentrate on preventing the condition in the first place? Functional medicine is unique in that it often focuses on variations in metabolism to both identify a predisposition to developing a condition and to discover the underlying cause if already present. As mentioned previously, functional medicine practitioner's concentrate on being your health care teacher. Can you remember a time your doctor truly educating you about your health care condition? Through this avenue, functional medicine practitioners will allow you to take back control of your health. After all, you are the one suffering from the condition, shouldn’t your treatment be focused on you and not the other people who have had similar problems?
Functional medicine is also one of the few health care choices that views the body as a whole. This is important considering that every single system in your body is dependent on the next to function properly. To take this holistic approach, these practitioners consider all variables including; your personal history, genetic makeup, occupational, nutritional, and social factors. All of these factors play a role in the expression of health and disease.
Finally, once the cause of your condition has been discovered, functional medicine practitioners use the best from multiple health care disciplines to properly treat the cause. For example, after a careful diagnosis following the use of various imaging and laboratory testing, many practitioners utilize a combination of dietary changes, supplements, and exercise programs.
If you are interested in learning more about the functional medicine services, we offer at Whole Health Center in Lone tree, please call our team today.