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What is Functional Medicine?

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

Heard of functional medicine, but don't really know what it is? Then read this blog, and see how functional medicine can help you!

Functional medicine takes into consideration lifestyle, genetics and environment to create an individualized plan to help you achieve optimal wellness.

Functional medicine... the term has been thrown around a lot these last few years, but what is it? Functional medicine uses a science-based approach that takes into consideration lifestyle, genetics and environment when developing an individualized patient-centered plan to help someone achieve optimal wellness. This approach allows us to look for the root cause of the problem instead of focusing only on symptom management.

But wait, you probably think, doesn't my doctor look at all that? As much as I want to say they do, I would likely not be telling the truth. It's not that your doctor doesn't want to look at everything in your life that could be contributing or harming your health, but they either A) don't have the time (that you insurance companies for having ridiculous expectations) or B) don't have the knowledge to know where to look for the underlying problem or C) don't care. Of course, there could be other reasons as well, but in my experience those are the common ones. As someone who went the conventional route of healthcare education and obtained her Master's of Science in Nursing, I can tell you that what I know regarding functional medicine, I was NOT taught in my conventional training. I was trained to assign a "pill to an ill" and that was treatment. I knew there had to be more (and I would not settle for less!), so when I found functional medicine I thought, THIS IS IT! This is what I have been wanting to do for people.

Functional medicine doesn't try to fit you in to a cookie cutter box. Just because you have high blood pressure, doesn't mean the reason you have it is the same as your neighbor Rick. This is where functional medicine shines, it focuses on figuring out the reason YOU - as a unique human being - have the problem. The health care provider and yourself then work together in partnership, to create a custom plan to help you improve your overall health and achieve optimal wellness.

How awesome is that?! How would it make you feel to know that someone is looking at you as the truly unique individual you are, and not as a diagnosis? To have someone who takes into consideration your lifestyle habits, environment and genetics when creating a healthcare plan? Someone who is on your side and truly does want what is best for you?

I'll leave you with one last thing. If you had a plant in your house and you saw that it's leaves were starting to get brown and wilt, would you focus on just the leaves? Most would say no, because if all the leaves are getting brown and starting to wilt then there is likely a deeper problem, perhaps in the soil. This is exactly how your body functions. Think of your symptoms as being leaves, and your soil is how your body functions on a cellular level. For example, if you have a headache, most of us would just take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen to make the headache go away, but it doesn't fix WHY you had the headache in the first place. Perhaps the headache was a sign you are dehydrated and need water, just as the brown and wilting plant leaves could need water. Functional medicine allows us to focus on providing you rapid relief for your symptoms, while also digging deeper to find the reason WHY you had the symptoms in the first place.

I hope after reading this you have a better understanding of functional medicine, and how it can help you or a loved one, achieve optimal wellness.

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