Functional Medicine – is this a new thing?

You may have heard the term, “Functional Medicine,” and wondered what this is about.  Functional Medicine describes a form of health care that focuses on the patient as a whole, rather than one organ or system.  It is called “functional” because poor bodily function results from imbalances in your metabolism.  These metabolic imbalances are really the underlying cause of your problems contributing to your lack of health.  Instead of referring to a patient as “the person with kidney problems”, a Functional Medicine practitioner looks for the causes, and will begin by the metabolic imbalances that contributing to poor kidney function.  This may include several organs or systems.

This requires looking at the entire patient, to determine what can be creating the kidney problems.  Many Chiropractors and Physicians who practice these concepts have also used the term “Integrative” to describe this healthcare approach.

A basic philosophy in Functional Medicine is that imbalances in your metabolic function often occur as a result of a person’s unique “biochemical individuality”.   Biochemical individuality recognizes that we are all unique individuals with different health needs. Metabolic imbalances can be caused by factors that include diet, pollutants, nutrients (including air and water), exercise, as well as trauma.  Trauma can be processed by one’s body, emotions, and spirit differently for different people, as we have unique set of genetic predispositions, attitudes, and beliefs related to our cultural and social experiences.

Functional Medicine (integrative health care practices) works well with people who have health concerns that are not always easy to resolve and those who have not improved with traditional, symptom-based health management approaches. These would include chronic health challenges involving fatigue, pain, neuromuscular, immune and auto-immune and structural imbalances.  Blood tests that are done generally go beyond the normal blood type testing, and can identify nutritional deficiencies that can be materially contributing to health issues.

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