Functional Medicine: How Functional Medicine Differs From the Traditional
Written by Shaina Wizov
September 18, 2018
Functional Medicine. What exactly is it, and what makes it so much different than traditional medicine? According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, “functional medicine determines how and why illness occurs and restores health by addressing the root causes of disease for each individual. Rather than treating the surface of the problem, which may only last for a short length of time without actually fixing anything, functional medicine dives deeper into an issue — whether it be a skin condition, gastrointestinal, hormonal, mental, physical, etc. — and takes a closer look at the cause and how its affecting the body, and determines a way to heal it completely.
Think of it like this… If a building has a hole in its roof, no amount of painting or covering it with tarp is going to take away from the fact that it still has a hole in it. Simply caulking over the hole won’t fix it entirely either. You need to repair the hole, and find out what caused it so that it won’t happen again. That is what a functional medicine doctor aims to do. Find the problem. Find the cause. Make necessary repairs. Keep it from continuing.
According to an article found GreenMedInfo, “Functional Medicine is Here to Stay,” the fundamental reason that functional medicine is being seen as a more effective way of treating patients is because of traditional medicines faults. Mainly that 80% of all disease is both preventable and reversible — but the traditional healthcare system is too focused on only treating symptoms. The article also states the many benefits of functional medicine, such as the following:
- It considers the whole body, in both its diagnosis and treatment stages.
- It treats the root cause of an illness, not just the symptoms.
- It uses treatments that are much safer and with fewer negative side effects.
- It can combine scientifically proven allopathic treatments with functional medicine to produce an integrated medical solution.
- It can use diagnostic tests to identify cells that are moving toward disease, but not yet diseased. This often occurs five to ten years before conventional medicine can diagnose a problem.
- Its treatments are usually more effective, and often able to reverse a condition, while conventional medicine can only manage an illness.
- Its treatments are less expensive than conventional medicine, and can benefit individuals, employers and governments who are overburdened by the expensive of traditional treatments that many times do not work.
At Integrative Acupuncture, we do understand that sometimes our patients feel the need to use traditional medication or procedures to treat their condition, and that is why we choose to integrate both Western and Eastern approaches in our practice. This new way of thinking about health and disease is based upon each individual patient’s genetic makeup and life history, as well as both internal (mind, body and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors. We use functional medicine testing to identify conditions such as nutritional deficiencies; digestive, absorptive and metabolic dysfunction; toxic exposures and the ability to detoxify; inflammatory responses and allergy triggers; imbalances in neurotransmitters; hormonal, adrenal and thyroid imbalances, and stool and parasite testing.
If this sounds like the path you’d like to take on your journey to self-health and a positive state-of-wellbeing, we would love to meet you and welcome you into the Integrative Acupuncture family. Call us at 561-819-0530 to set up your first free 20-minute consultation with one of our practitioners.