When going to your Internist do you feel like your body has been chopped up into pieces. If your back hurts you get a referral to the spine doctor, if your stomach hurts you’re sent to a gastroenterologist, if your head hurts you make an appointment to see the neurologist and it just keeps going. Is this the way we navigate healing the unwell?
Are you looking for someone to take the time and listen to your entire list of health concerns. Was the goal at your doctors appointment to try and figure out a way you could correct your issues, rather than leave with 2 or 3 prescriptions just to mask the symptoms. Are you looking to feel more energized and with less pains, but your doctor says it’s just because your getting older. You’ve been looking for this but you just didn’t know what it was called. Functional Medicine is going to take a sledge hammer to the old Western medicine paradigm and provide you with the answers you need to take back your health and regain optimal function.
Here are 6 principals that create the definition of functional medicine.
1. IT’S PERSONALIZED
Functional medicine views all people as individuals. All of us have our own unique genetic and physiological makeups. We have different stressors, different environmental and toxic exposures, different lifestyles as well as many different underlying factors that contribute to the state of our health.
Functional medicine is a one-on-one partnership between patient and practitioner to start a therapeutic relationship. It’s health focused and personalized to come up with a unique approach to regain optimal function. Functional medicine takes the whole person into account. We only use the symptoms as clues to determine which body systems need support in our efforts to achieve a lifelong path to wellness. This is why at Integrative Acupuncture our initial consultations are an hour or longer. We must act like detectives to uncover the true reasons the body is in a state of dis-ease.
2. IT’S NEVER ONE SIZE FITS ALL
The functional medicine approach is tailored to each person individually. Just because patients have the same disease doesn’t mean they would have the same treatment. Each person has a unique set of health circumstances that brought them to their disease state. Western medicine does not have the time, training or tools to create the wellness plans required to restore health and function. This is where functional medicine shines. Our proficiency is identifying those circumstances and coming up with the correct protocols to address those disease states.There is no denying that emergency medicine saves lives and that there are circumstances that require medications. However, we are dealing with a growing population suffering with chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune conditions, allergies, gastrointestinal issues, mental illness, chronic fatigue and symptoms manifesting from chronic stress. We must change our western symptom based protocol to a more comprehensive and therapeutic approach.
3. THE TRUE MEANING OF INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE.
The good news is you don’t have to decide to do one or the other. Functional medicine uses conventional medicine as well as holistic and alternative therapies to stop chronic conditions and promote disease prevention. The tools that functional medicine draws on to achieve wellness are western and functional lab testing, diet, nutrition, exercise, stress management, holistic therapies, such as acupuncture, massage and supplementation. With these tools we can start to create an environment in the body that will speed healing and pave the road to optimal wellness and longevity, no matter what your age.
4. FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE IS BASED ON SCIENCE
Functional Medicine is deeply steeped in science. The most current research shows us that rather than assessing pathology, we can now utilize a new framework for assessing predisposition, metabolic functions, energy reserves, tissue injuries, hormone variations, psychological health, daily and cyclic variations as well as nutrition. This allows for a more personalized therapy. Science shows us that what is happening in the body is not a single malfunction but that there is usually a problem in a complicated network of relationships between systems. Functional medicine is redefining disease treatment. This approach focuses on the cause and mechanism and not just the disease label with an ICD-10 code to match.
5. YOU ARE A SELF REGULATING MACHINE
We have been programmed to believe that our bodies are destined to disease and disfunction. Many Western practitioners have taken away our belief that we can heal ourselves. Our bodies are extremely intelligent. Every function or dynamic balance is designed to keep us alive. So why not give the body what it needs to transform itself into better health? Each one of us holds the keys to attaining our best health. Functional medicine practitioners can not do the work for you, but they will design a plan to address the underlying imbalances or system dysfunctions and help you put a stop to the progression of disease patterns. They will be your biggest fan, cheering you along in your new health journey, by giving you the tools to put in your wellness chest. True healing does not happen overnight, it requires patience, but true healing can be achieved. You just need to believe that your body has the ability to heal and you CAN prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.
6. IT’S LOOKING FOR THE “WHY”
If you have a headache, the question should be why? You do not have an Ibuprofen deficiency. Functional medicine is not about treating a specific symptom, nor is it concerned with the label you have been given, such as fibromyalgia, IBS or arthritis. We are solely concerned with identifying the root cause of the imbalances that created these sets of symptoms. We question why you have these labels, what function has been lost and what can be done to restore proper function. Functional medicine is about the WHY? Why is this body system disrupted or this symptom happening? When you know the WHY you can treat the root cause.
At Integrative Acupuncture we have dedicated ourselves to the practice of functional medicine and are qualified Certified Functional Medicine Practitioners (CFMP). Functional medicine is incorporated with our holistic treatments offered, such as, acupuncture, massage, holistic nutrition, functional medicine testing, and hypnotherapy to meet the individual needs of our patients. We believe functional medicine is the true health model and we are happy to be part of the health shift paradigm addressing the health care needs of the 21st century.
Now….who’s ready to start taking back control of their health!
Call to schedule your appointment: 561-819-0530