What is functional medicine?

As a nurse, I was keenly aware that we have a fantastic medical system in our country, but it cannot work miracles.  Despite more and more drugs and technological advances, obesity, illness and many cancers are on the rise, some alarmingly so.  People have more education about how to take care of themselves than at any point in history, and we have more interventions.  So, why are we still sick?  Maybe it’s the way we’re dealing with it.

doctor.futureMaybe, through no fault of their own, medical schools haven’t been looking at patients with the right filter.  Our medical system is illness based.  Insurance companies rarely paid for wellness visits (this is changing).  You went to a doctor IF you got sick, but rarely thought of a visit as a proactive way to stay well.  I’d like to share what my journey to wellness has taught me about being an advocate for myself.  And I’m extremely excited about the connections we are beginning to make between illness, food and the mind/body connection.  This is not “new-age” or hocus- pocus.  This is a paradigm shift in how medicine ought to be practiced.  And physicians who are practicing this type of medicine, called FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, are finding that practicing medicine this way allows them to team up with the patient and create an individual plan for wellness.  Functional Medicine IS the future of medicine.  Do you want to wait 20 years for it’s ability to heal you, or do you want to be on the cutting edge of this revolution?  I pick the later!  And based on how I feel, I am certain I have chosen wisely.

Functional medicine connects the dots.  You don’t need 5 different doctors to manage your care (you may need specialists, but the body isn’t divided up into “areas” the way it is now with specialists and sub-specialists)

The basic difference is this:  Instead of asking, “How can I control this patient’s symptoms (usually with a prescription)?” Functional Medicine asks key questions that even brilliant conventional doctors FORGET (and in their defense, were never trained) to ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?”  In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms has presented in the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label.

Here’s another post I wrote in 2016 that goes into a bit more detail.

If you’re intrigued about this, or want to find a functional medicine doc in your area (more and more are being trained each month), see the links below.

What is Functional Medicine

 

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