Functional medicine is a personalized and integrative approach to healthcare which involves understanding the prevention, management, and root causes of complex chronic disease. It has evolved integrative, holistic, conventional and naturopathic models to offer the most comprehensive and effective approach to healthcare in the 21st century.
Functional medicine focuses on the most current scientific research regarding how your genetics, environment and lifestyle interact in order to diagnose and treat conditions.The goal is to shift from treating the disease (disease-centered) to treating the person who has the disease (patient-centered). Functional medicine addresses the whole person and not just an isolated list of symptoms. Symptom suppression is only used as a temporary fix while seeking the root cause of the symptoms ensures optimal health for the patient. Here at In Motion Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, we spend time with our patients, listen to their health history, and examine the interactions between genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. These factors contribute to long-term health issues and complex, chronic diseases. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Perhaps the key to the functional medicine approach is the systemic perspective. Medicine today is typically divided into specialties: orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology. This means that doctors practicing within these specific areas often have a truly impressive grasp of how their specific part of the body works, but may not be trained to focus on how that part fits into the body as a whole. They are taught to see deeply, but not always broadly.
This makes treating chronic, complex health conditions really difficult, because they almost always involve the relationship between several parts of the body, as well as a range of emotional and lifestyle factors. How your organs affect each other, and how your mind, feelings, relationships, and choices affect your body all matter when it comes to unraveling disease.
Functional medicine recognizes that seeing you and your body as a cohesive whole is essential to healing. That’s why Dr.T is more interested in root causes than symptoms and diagnosis. The symptoms are a red flag that lets you know something is wrong, but simply treating them usually doesn’t fix what is actually going on. Figuring out how your body system is struggling and how to support it often does.
Functional medicine is proactive, focusing on the prevention of diseases and is cost-effective in the long term. Conventional medicine is reactive, focusing on detecting diseases once you already have them. This can become very expensive in the long term.
Functional medicine by nature is a very individualized and personalized approach to medicine. Between balancing large patient rosters, paperwork, and dealing with insurance premium, primary care physicians simply don’t have the time to dig deeper into each patients’ medical history. Instead, their focus tends to be on symptoms, not causes.
Absolutely, functional medicine is not designed to replace your current primary care doctor – it is only intended to supplement knowledge about current health issues and possible approaches to remedy those issues.