There are many reasons why Functional Medicine is referred to as “a science whose time has come”. We live in a toxic, high stress, poor sleep and bad food choices world that is actually making us sick! Most of us just struggle along – feeling worse and piling up chronic health problems as the years go by. We visit our healthcare provider, fill our prescription, and hope that maybe this prescription is “the one that will fix us”, the magic pill that will make all our symptoms go away and help us to finally feel better. The problem is that most of the prescription medicine is designed to only treat our symptoms. It fails to address the cause of our illness, and worse, the side effects may add even more symptoms to our large and growing collection.
The current model of U.S. healthcare does not provide the focus or allow the time to address what’s actually behind a patients’ symptoms. That’s what is so exciting about a Functional Medicine approach! Functional Medicine practitioners are trained to use a specific model to approach patient care. This model uses a science-based approach that addresses the whole person, evaluating not just symptoms, but the physical, emotional and spiritual causes of disease. We focus on addressing those causes to improve overall health, and as such most Functional Medicine patients feel better after treatment. Functional Medicine is not Alternative Medicine; our approach serves as a bridge between prescription based healthcare and alternative medicine. FM providers recognize that everyone is unique – we employ a variety of science-based treatments from all areas of medicine to address your unique health concerns.
For example, say you have struggled with weight concerns for years. You have already tried all the diets. You lose weight, but it comes right back as soon as the diet ends. You’ve tried prescription medications, but don’t like the side effects and are concerned about the long-term effects on your health (a very real concern!). You’re frustrated, and don’t know what to do…A Functional Medicine approach tells us that you are not a failure, but that there are very real physiological reasons you cannot lose weight or maintain weight loss. We seek to discover why you struggle with weight, and then work to address those causes through a comprehensive patient/provider relationship that works for you as an individual and can last a lifetime. Your barriers might be hormonal, metabolic, or even psychological in nature. FM recognizes that each patient is an individual and has unique needs and barriers that must be addressed in partnership for positive health change to occur. We might advise laboratory testing (FM providers often employ diagnostic testing not generally used in primary care), treat you with nutraceuticals if indicated, provide health coaching, advise meditation or acupuncture, and even prescribe medication if required. Our goal is to restore health and eliminate the need for prescription medication. We are aware that there is value in prescription medication at times, and for specific conditions that are severe or cannot be treated solely with other measures.
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