Patient-centered care focused on optimal function of the body and organs.
Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.
The whole person is looked at with a patient-centered approach. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.
Functional medicine encompasses the origins, prevention, and treatment of disease while supporting the individual expression of health and vitality.
The unique bio-chemical genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
Why Functional Medicine?
The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute or urgent care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of immediate attention, such as appendicitis or a broken arm. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments in the form of drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.
Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating chronic disease.
Functional medicine views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties.
In most cases, conventional medicine does not take into account the genetic makeup of individuals or factors such as environmental exposure to toxins and the aspects of today’s lifestyle that directly influence the rise in chronic disease in modern society. It treats symptoms, instead of the whole system.
There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous (as long as 50 years) particularly in the area of complex illness.