While many celebrity voices such as Dr. Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Dr. Frank Lipman have been boasting about functional medicine being the future of health care, it is still a fairly unknown practice. It varies dramatically from current western medicine as well as conventional medicine. While doctors traditionally use drugs, surgery, and hormones as treatments for disease and injuries, it fails to effectively treat chronic disease. Considering chronic disease currently affects approximately 125 million Americans and rising, obviously a newer, more effective approach at handling chronic disease is necessary.
There Are Five Primary Principals that Define Functional Medicine:
- Functional Medicine Treats Us All as Individuals
Everyone has their own unique genetics, biochemistry, environment, and lifestyle. Rather than traditional medicine that typically seeks to treat the acute symptoms, functional medicine takes an approach of healing the entire body. It ensures the normal mechanisms of the body are able to assist in recovery and future preventative care. This is why functional medicine is so much more effective than most drugs and surgeries, which only take care of the immediate problem. Functional medicine covers a broader aspect of the person as a whole, ensuring they are taking appropriate steps to ensure they do not relapse and suffer again in the future.
- Functional Medicine Takes an Approach Deeply Rooted in Science
Research has proven that our body’s internal mechanisms have a very complicated networking system that works synergistically. What this means is that when we focus on ensuring our body as a whole is functioning properly, each integral part assists the whole to perform better. With functional medicine’s understanding of those relationships, treatments can be provided to the patient that ensure the overall body itself works to repair the injury or illness.
- The Body is Able to Self-Regulate
Functional medicine has a strong foundation based on the body’s ability to self-regulate. By working on the body as a whole and ensuring optimal functionality of the entire body, it improves each individual system of the body to perform better and regulate itself. A dynamic balance of all systems of the body dramatically improves the body’s ability to perform this self-regulation.
- Your Body Has the Ability to Prevent Nearly All Diseases Caused by Aging
Functional medicine practitioners understand that many diseases caused by age are due to imbalances that gradually occur over time. These imbalances may occur due to bad habits, work environment (ex. sitting for too long), sedentary lifestyle, and much more. By restoring balance in the body, it prevents these diseases that gradually set in over time.
- Health is More Than Absence of Disease
While avoiding illness and injury can certainly improve quality of life, functional medicine seeks to take things further by improving overall vitality and well-being. Improving the overall function of the body helps one to feel a much greater sense of wellness and overall vivacity. Those who utilize functional medicine not only recover from their condition, but find themselves in a better state of overall health through the power of functional medicine.