What Is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is an individualized, root cause-oriented approach to healthcare. It seeks to understand the complex interactions between genetics, environment, and lifestyle, which can affect long term health and chronic disease. Practitioners spend time listening to their patients and understanding their histories, assessing all aspects of the patient’s experience of their illness.

Unlike conventional medicine where patients typically see their doctor for about 7 minutes per visit, getting one-on-one, undivided attention, functional practitioners spend a minimum of 1 hour with each patient during their initial consultation. They will often spend a lot more time on subsequent visits as they build relationships with each patient.

Unveiling the Healing Power: Exploring the Basics of Functional Medicine

Many conventional doctors will work with a functional practitioner to treat their patients, especially for conditions that are highly reliant on pharmaceuticals for treatment. For example, a traditional physician may prescribe medication to bring down a patient’s blood pressure in the short-term, while a functional doctor will recommend healthy lifestyle changes that ultimately allow the patient to get off their medications.

Besides being highly personalized, functional medicine is also preventative. Practitioners can use the new biomedical information we are learning from our post-genomics era to identify patterns and markers that can predict disease progression and help stop it before it even starts. For instance, a functional practitioner will start addressing the issue of blood sugar levels well before conventional pre-diabetes is ever diagnosed. They will recommend diet and lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, detoxification programs, stress-management techniques, or physical therapy.

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