Functional Medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addressed the healthcare of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centred focus of medical practice to a more patient-centred approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
How is Functional Medicine Different?
Functional Medicine involved understanding the origins, prevention and treatment of complex chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
Pateint-centered approach. The focus of Functional Medicine is on patient-orientated care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease.
An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional Medicine practitioners look ‘upstream’ to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patients is considered, along with internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and environment) factors that affect total functioning.
Integrating best medical practices. Function Medicine integrates traditional Westen medical practices with what we are sometimes considered ‘alternative’ or ‘integrative’ medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutritions, diet, and exercise; use of laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and combinations of supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs and stress management techniques.