WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Functional Medicine 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.
WHY DO WE NEED FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
- Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases; such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care. The diagnosis and treatment of trauma, or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery, which aim to treat the immediate problem.
- Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease.
- 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, chronic disease.
- Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.
HOW IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE DIFFERENT?
Functional medicine involves understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. Hallmarks of a functional medicine approach include:
- Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual's unique needs.
- An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient's history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique 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.
- Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what are sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS SAY
“Support and communication are wonderful benefits of this program. I never feel like my questions go unanswered. It's wonderful!”
Alisha (Raccoon, KY)
“Honestly, I was hurting so badly that my only goal was to feel better, and YES I have achieved that goal! I feel SO much better. My ankles/feet rarely hurt, and I am not so stiff in the morning that it hurts to move”
Sheri (Meadowview, VA)
“What benefits have you received from the program so far? So very many. So thankful to God that I've found you guys. You have given me hope! With only doing this right at a month I'm already seeing some improvements. They may be small it's enough to keep me going and give me hope. You showed me it really wasn't in my head like all the other doctors before did. I've had several already commenting that my complexion is looking better! Also, with this education, I can take it and use it from now on and make my family healthier. I don't feel as lost! Thank you! I doubt you hear it often enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know without a doubt you have changed many lives for the better and will change many more to come! Thank you for all you do, but also thank you for being such a blessing. I can see how God works through you and sometimes I forget how great our God really is. You just reminded me that He is!”
April (Rogersville, TN)
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