Functional medicine can be thought of as the discipline that connects conventional medicine to alternative medicine, it addresses the underlying causes of disease, using various strategic approaches which engages both the patient and the practitioner in a strong and therapeutic partnership.
Think of it as a “personalised lifestyle medicine” with treatment varying from patient to patient. Functional medicine is focused on identifying functional deficiencies of a patient’s overall health. Once you see how different systems are functioning within your body, you can then work with your healthcare provider on unique food, supplement, and lifestyle strategies to actively promote a healthier body and lifestyle.
1. Biochemical Individuality
It is probably the most important of all of the principles as it is matching care specific to your physiology at any given moment.
2. Patient Centered
Much of the frustration with healthcare comes from the doctor-patient experience. Many doctors still only spend a few minutes with their patients and spend most of the time talking instead of listening.
3. Dynamic Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit
Understanding how our mind and body works is paramount to working on our overall health and well being.
4. Web-like Interconnections
The whole of the body is greater than the sum of its parts. Organ systems are inherently interconnected.
5. Health as a Positive Vitality
Our healthcare system is really set up as a disease care system. Health is much more than just relief from symptoms and includes all aspects of life experience. Health is something that is promoted and maintained whereas a “disease” requires a diagnosis, treatment or cure. Functional medicine emphasizes those activities that promote health in the first place instead of waiting to “name, blame, and tame” an existing disease.
6. Promotion of Organ Reserve
Organ reserve is your body’s ability to support whole body health and bounce back from injury or toxic insult. If you have chronic stress, inflammation, infection or more, you can put a lot of wear and tear on your body’s ability to fight against future insults. Anytime you hear about the promotion of “healthy aging”, you are hearing about the concept of organ reserve. Small stresses over time can and will lead to disease.