What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is also known as “Natural Medicine”, or sometimes is even called “Integrative Medicine”. The concept is based on the idea that the way the body functions within it’s environment. In other words, our body’s ability to adapt and respond accordingly to what is going around us and inside our body at any given point is our health. With Functional Medicine, we approach our patient’s health with that in mind. Every system in the body should be able to work, and work accordingly to respond to the different stressors that we have from day to day. This is a very different approach to dealing with your health. In the conventional “Allopathic” model of healthcare, you could think of your doctor as a fireman. This can be seen for example by addressing a patient that has had a heart attack or stroke, so the building is on fire and it needs to be put out and stabilized, and our conventional doctors are fantastic at doing this job. But, then where do you go from there? Often patients are put on a number of medications, some of which help fix certain symptoms(like elevated cholesterol), but they also cause other problems, or they don’t do anything at all. From a Functional Medicine standpoint, we approach the patient with the idea of rebuilding the system, much like a contractor would approach a damaged structure, to work the way that it’s supposed to by adding in nutrients that may be deficient, taking away inflammatory toxins, foods, etc. and also by adding in specific physical and mental exercises. This helps to get the body working the way that it’s supposed to without adding in other potential problems and stressors.
So, How Does This Work?
We we are working with a new patient from a Functional Medicine standpoint, we start by taking a complete and thorough history. This goes much more in depth than your traditional medical or even Chiropractic history. We will examine the way that your body is responding and adapting in every system, for example cardiovascular: Are we running a higher than normal blood pressure? Are there signs of inflammation? Is our blood sugar being dysregulated? Another example could be our digestive system: Are we able to digest food properly? Do we have chronic bouts of acid reflux? Do we have chronic constipation, diarrhea, gas? We will take you through every system and see how you are functioning. Much of this can be observed through the consultation itself, but then we will take you through a thorough examination as well. This will consist of physical examination, but also with lab testing. We will run specific labs to test different biomarkers, letting us see just how your body is doing on a day to day basis.
Once we have gone through the history, examination, labs etc., a specific protocol will be set up to help get your body back to functioning optimally. As stated earlier, we will prescribe nutrients when needed. We will give you a custom tailored exercise prescription(this will show you what type of exercise programs you should be doing with your current condition(s)). We will prescribe specific mental and emotional exercises(sometimes that’s reading a book, other times it may be learning how to meditate, etc.).
After a period of time, we will follow up to make sure that your body is working according to how it should be working by taking you again through examination and sometimes follow up labs. At this point, we will let you know what if any of the initial program is necessary to continue or if you can or should start to change or drop any of the prescribed nutrients, activities, etc.
As you can see approaching your health from a Functional Medicine standpoint is vastly different than what you are used to seeing in “traditional” American healthcare. We have seen our programs help people get over chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia pain, level out blood sugar, stabilize thyroid, fix leaky gut, and more. If any of this seems like something you would like to address or learn more about, enter your name and email address below. We will send you more information regarding your body and your health as well the initial paperwork to set up a Functional Medicine appointment in our office. If you wish to make an appointment, simply fill out the paperwork, call to schedule an appointment, specifically saying that you are coming to us as a Functional Medicine patient, and we look forward to helping you live your best!