What is Functional Medicine?

It’s All About the Roots.

As opposed to traditional medicine, functional medicine seeks to identify and address the root causes of disease, and views the body as one integrated system, not a collection of independent organs divided up by medical specialties. It treats the whole system, not just the symptoms.

Characteristics of Functional Medicine:

  • Patient centered versus disease centered. Functional Medicine views us all as being different; genetically and biochemically unique. This personalized health care treats the individual, not the disease. It supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body, naturally, rather than attacking disease directly.

  • Systems biology approach: web-like interconnections of physiological factors. Functional Medicine is deeply science based. The latest research shows us that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network or web of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows us to see deep into the functioning of the body.

  • Dynamic balance of gene-environment interactions. Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which expresses itself through a dynamic balance of all your body systems.

  • Personalized based on biochemical individuality. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan.

  • Promotion of organ reserve and sustained health span. Your body has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.

  • Health as a positive vitality—not merely the absence of disease.

  • Function versus pathology focused. Instead of asking, “What drug matches up with this disease?” Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?” and “Why has function been lost?” and “What can we do to restore function?” In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there in the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label.