Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought.
What is Functional Diagnostic Medicine?
Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
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. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.
Core Principals of Functional Medicine
FM recognizes the body as a self-healing, self regulating organism, with an innate intelligence and capacity to maintain homeodynamics. We acknowledge that given the right support and care, the body will be able to return to optimal functions with minimal external intervention.
Health is not merely the absence of disease but a fully functioning, vital, optimized, harmonized flow of all systems and organs in body, mind and spirit, working harmoniously together.
FM seeks to promote the health and well-being of patients by emphasizing the principle of prevention. This is the understanding that the prevention of disease through education is the most compassionate and humane way of providing healthcare to individuals. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
FM providers understand a wide variety of health issues and complications and how they are interrelated. Therefore, they are perhaps the most qualified to assess the majority of health conditions seen in a clinical setting. FM providers must be able to recognize rare and non-responsive cases and coordinate care among other health professionals when necessary. FM providers are also trained in the most cost-effective and efficacious treatments which can potentially eliminate wasteful healthcare spending.
Every cell in the body affects every other cell. Recognizing the body as a holistic organism, in which all systems and functions of the body influence and are influenced by one another – a complex symphony of interrelated components that are greater than the sum of its parts.
Evidence based care
FM seeks true knowledge and understanding using all resources available. Utilizing the best that science has to offer in both the natural and allopathic fields allows emerging, cutting-edge research, ideas and theories to be integrated into every day clinical practice.
FM uses natural methods of health restoration and promotion understanding the high risks and side effects associated with pharmaceutical use. Prescription medication is often needed in life-saving situations, and is rarely needed long-term. When pharmaceutical intervention is needed, FM providers will refer to a practitioner who may assist in the administration of appropriate, timely pharmaceutical interventions.
FM places responsibility of health back on the individual and not solely on the doctor. The doctor-patient relationship is a partnership in which participation is required by both.
The Functional Medicine Tree
One way to conceptualize where functional medicine falls in the continuum of health and health care is to examine the functional medicine “tree”. In it’s approach to complex, chronic disease, functional medicine encompasses the whole domain represented by the image below, but first addresses the patient’s core clinical imbalances, fundamental physiologic processes, environmental inputs, and genetic predispositions. Diagnosis, of course, is part of the functional medicine model, but the emphasis is on understanding and improving the functional core of the human being as the starting point for intervention.