In modern times, physicians typically treat the disease, while functional medicine physicians treat the patient. This is essentially the reason why functional medicine is so effective. There are parts derived from both modern scientific medicine as well as functional medicine practices.
What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is a biology-based approach. It focuses on identifying and addressing the cause of a disease rather than addressing the symptoms. Functional medicine physicians use a holistic approach to understand who you are, and understand that everyone requires unique treatment plans.
One large component of functional medicine is avoiding drugs to simply treat the symptoms of a disease/illness. Instead, functional medicine doctors discover why you have an ailment and then work with you to identify and correct the root of the problem.
What Makes Functional Medicine Effective?
There are 5 principles of functional medicine:
- Everyone is different, both genetically and biochemically. This means that you must take a personalized approach and treat the person rather than the disease.
- It is science-based. There is a complex network of relationships in the body. Understanding these provides a better understanding of our overall body.
- The human body is capable of self-regulation. Your body has millions of systems interconnected with one another in a delicate balance.
- Your body can often heal itself.
- Your body can prevent many of the diseases of aging.
- Health is a state, not just the absence of a disease, illness, or an ailment.
Functional Medicine and Chronic Health Conditions
The medical management model coincides with traditional medical treatment which is typically quick to provide drugs, surgery, or acute care. Although this is necessary in certain cases, it is not for chronic health conditions. In functional medicine, chronic health conditions require a two-step solution:
Find what the body is lacking and push it back to its state of optimal performance.
- Remove anything that stops the body from moving toward this state.
Functional medicine practitioners work to determine what is causing the body not to properly function and how to correct that. Treatment often involves nutritional and lifestyle changes, as well as a combination of natural agents. These might include herbs, homeopathics, supplements, and chiropractic care.