What is Functional Medicine
Modern medicine has made astonishing advances in the treatment of acute healthcare problems, but increasingly healthcare consumers suffer from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, addictions, depression, anxiety and auto-immune diseases. While many tools to address chronic health problems are in the doctor’s toolbox, Functional Medicine offers a whole set of specialized technologies to assist practitioners in getting to the root biochemical causes of these chronic problems.
Because of Functional Medicine, healthcare practitioners and consumers alike can now relegate palliative models of treatment (i.e., treating only the symptoms of chronic medical and psychiatric problems) to treatments of last resort instead of treatments of first resort. Because of Functional Medicine, healthcare practitioners have a new treatment of first resort which is potentially curative, because it addresses the underlying risk factors of chronic medical and psychiatric disorders, the nutritional, metabolic, toxicological, immune and epigenetic problems which amassed scientific studies strongly suggest are causative or serious exacerbating factors of all chronic medical and psychiatric disorders.
Functional Medicine also integrates into and potentiates all conventional Western medicine and CAM (complementary/alternative medicine) practices by creating a scientific rationale for prevention through nutrition, diet, lifestyle changes, stress-management techniques and exercise; for the use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques (blood, urine, saliva, stool and hair testing); and for prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets and detoxification programs.
The critical and potentially curative, biochemical information provided by the Functional Medicine, is the long-awaited, missing “body” component in the holistic model of mind, body, energy and spirit treatment, which lays the critical, science-based, physical and sustainable foundation for the mind/energy/spirit approaches to actually work.