Just what is Functional Medicine?
You may have heard me talk about it. You may have seen something about it in the news. You are aware that I felt so strongly about it that in 2019 I changed the name of my practice to include it.
So just what is Functional Medicine? Let’s start by explaining what it is not. It is not allopathic or conventional medicine. Functional medicine practitioners don’t have to be medical doctors although many of them are. Functional medicine does not involve treating medical diseases directly or prescribing medications. Functional medicine is not disease oriented.
Chiropractic philosophy is similar to functional medicine philosophy. In chiropractic removing nerve interference and correcting vertebral misalignments results in pain relief but also improved function of the body by removing nerve interference allowing the body systems to better communicate with the brain thereby improving their function. In functional medicine the interference that prevents us from being healthy is physical, chemical and emotional stressors. Through consultation, examination and lab testing we can assess how your body is performing and then make recommendations for dietary changes, nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes to help you become healthier and restore optimal function with the goal of promoting wellness. Most active programs last between two months and one year and there is a wellness or maintenance component as well. Just like chiropractic.
So what is Functional Medicine?
It is evidence based. Research in functional medicine comes from peer reviewed journals not corporations or special interest groups. Not all evidence is good evidence.
It is natural and integrative. Diet, exercise, short term use of supplements, stress reduction and lifestyle. No drugs, no chemicals, nothing that isn’t real.
It is preventative. By using lab testing we can identify systems and organs that need support before issues occur.
It is safe. Programs have very few side effects if any.
It is holistic. We treat the body as an interconnected system. As the complaints for one system improve, seemingly unrelated complaints elsewhere improve as well.
It is healthy. The goal is to become healthier. Most dictionaries define health as being function based, not symptom based. The absence of symptoms does not mean we are healthy. Cancer and heart disease can be well advanced before they ever become symptomatic.
It is investigative. By seeking to identify the underlying causes of your complaint results are longer lasting than just attempting to cover up the complaint.
It is patient oriented. We support the patient, not the disease. A functional medicine program is as unique as a fingerprint. Each program is custom designed for the patient. We spend more time with the patient. Some visits can last an hour or longer.
It is restorative. The goal is to improve health by promoting optimal function.
It is the future. Improving our mind, body and spirit through proper diet, exercise and emotional support is the goal of functional medicine. By addressing areas needing support before disease occurs rather than after it has already taken place is the path of healthcare of the future. Thomas Edison is credited with the following quote. “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” What he was describing in my opinion was chiropractic and functional medicine.
If you have any questions about functional medicine, please visit our website to learn more about functional medicine. There is an abundance of information on both chiropractic and functional medicine. If you are interested in scheduling a fifteen minute consultation with me to discuss your health concerns and to see if functional medicine may help you, please call our Northfield office and Nori will assist you.