Functional Medicine: definiton
Functional Medicine is a systems-based approach to evaluating and treating chronic health conditions. It addresses the whole person, not just symptoms and its approach is applicable to just about any type of illness.
Systems-based medicine involves the functional assessment of the hormonal, immune, digestive and elimination systems to determine how these systems may be compromised and contributing to the cause of the disease process. Patient assessment involves an extensive clinical history, evaluation of significant events along a personal timeline and a determination of the relative interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that have a lasting impact on health and the development of chronic conditions. Specialized testing helps determine the cause of or contributory factors to chronic conditions and allows us to unravel the complex matrix of many seemingly disconnected symptoms. A Functional Medicine treatment program involves dietary and lifestyle modification and hormone, immune and detoxification support with well-researched herbal remedies, nutritional supplements and diet and lifestyle modification.
Functional Medicine was introduced to the world of medicine over 25 years ago by Susan and Jeffrey Bland, PhD who started the Institute for Functional Medicine to train doctors and practitioners in the science and applicability of Functional Medicine. This sensible, systems-based approach has piqued the interest of many conventional and alternative practitioners looking for a better way to evaluate and treat the increasing numbers of patients with chronic diseases who cannot find relief within the conventional medical model. This is truly the future of medicine and wellness and provides us with a logical and well-researched basis from which to evaluate our patients, remove obstacles to healing, provide personalized health care, support the body’s ability to heal, prevent disease and slow the aging process.