Leaving No Stone Unturned:
A New Integrative Approach to Healthcare
Each person is unique, so why is it that modern medicine does not recognize this and treat accordingly? We are the product of the environment in which we live and the genes we have inherited. That being the case Functional Medicine seeks to provide medical care that is comprehensive and holistic.
Conventional medicine wants you for life.
In a typical doctor’s visit, you spend a precious five minutes in the actual presence of your GP. You leave the office with one of two things: a prescription or a referral to a specialist. Your specialist and your GP resort to the same method: find the ill, match it with the corresponding medication. We won’t argue: when it comes to emergencies, acute disease, trauma and infection, conventional medical practices excel. Yet for the over 125 million Americans with chronic disease this system is failing.
Without chronic illness, modern medicine would be out of business: its ‘bandaid’ solutions keep you coming back for more. Serving to mask or suppress symptoms, medications create the perfect conditions for relapse. You might feel okay for a little while, but without medication all your symptoms return immediately. Worse still, you become dependent on medication that often comes with nasty side effects.
If the conventional medical model is failing us, where does the future of healthcare lie?
In traditional society we had occasion to really live. Many of the chronic diseases that plague us now were nonexistent because we didn’t live a life of convenience. We made our own food from unmodified, unprocessed ingredients and our daily activities were physically demanding. If a healthcare provider was not within reach we had traditional knowledge enough to take care of most our ills, ourselves.
In this environment, chronic disease has no chance. Instead of creating the conditions for disease, we create the conditions for wellness. This is the future of healthcare: preventing disease before it even happens. What we need now are strategies for addressing disease via its root cause.
From the old paradigm to the new: shifting from disease-centered to patient-centered care.
If we take the patient’s complete picture into account, a web of complex interactions reveals itself. Where we once neglected to examine a patient’s dietary practice, we now suggest changes to optimize nutrition for healing. Disease becomes a constellation of interdependent variables, instead of a set of predetermined symptoms. When we look at which physiological processes are obstructed in the individual and address each accordingly, generic medication is hopeless. Perhaps our patient’s depression is dependent on a sluggish thyroid and vitamin B12 deficiency. With individualized treatment and time, the patient’s renewed energy trumps any lingering feelings of depression. This is the kind of success available in many common ailments:
- Adrenal disorders
- Autoimmune disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/Reflux)
- Elevated cholesterol
- Environmental and food allergies
- Female disorders (PMS, Menopause, Infertility, PCOS)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mercury and heavy metal toxicity
- Metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance
- Migraines and headaches
- Overweight and obesity
- Thyroid disorders
How does functional medicine work?
Our strengths lie in a highly individualized approach to care. Instead of the 5 minutes you get with your GP, we spend an hour discussing your health history and configuring nutritional and specialized testing that uncovers the underlying cause of your symptoms. Together we design a treatment program that can include everything from diet and lifestyle recommendations to detoxification and acupuncture. Using more tests than your standard GP might, while investing time in understanding your health history, we often find things they have missed or would have addressed only symptomatically.
The functional medical model believes in:
- An integrative, science-based synthesis of modern and traditional medical care. Synthesizing Western Medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Functional Medicine Practitioners combine up-to-date biomedical research with a perspective that is holistic. Your unique genetic makeup, in combination with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) variables are all factored in.
- Emphasis on those factors that encourage enhancement of the patient’s physiology. Healthiness is not just about being disease-free. Rather, it is a state of vibrant well-being.
- Patient’s active engagement in their health care plan. We believe in empowering the patient to take ownership of his or her own healing. You have access to your body’s innate ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.