What is Functional Medicine?

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There’s a new buzz phrase out there that has been causing a lot of discussion in the medical community: “Functional Medicine.”

I was excited to read about this in my physician’s latest newsletter because this is how I’ve managed my health for years. When combined with regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and healthy eating, I have learned that partnering with physicians who have a core belief in Functional Medicine (although I didn’t used to call it that) has been key to living a vibrant, healthy life.

What is Functional Medicine?

Let’s start with what Kim, from Lifescape Medical Associates in Scottsdale, Arizona, says Functional Medicine is not.

In mainstream medicine, doctors will use drugs or hormones to deal with dysfunction or disease. Common chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, etc., are all treated with the “standard model of care,” which is pretty much the same for each individual disease: medications. Take a pill and follow-up with the doctor in six months.

The key to Functional Medicine is: “Instead of asking ‘What drug matches up with this disease?’ ask instead, ‘Why do you have this problem to begin with?’; ‘Why has function been lost?’ and ‘What can I do to restore function?’”

Here are the 5 basic principles that define Functional Medicine:

1. Functional Medicine views us all as unique individuals, and provides, naturally-based, personalized care.
2. Functional Medicine is science based.
3. The body is very intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation.
4. The body has the ability to heal and prevent a lot of diseases.
5. Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of immense vitality.

In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause involved with any loss of function or malfunction which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there in the first place. It integrates traditional medicine with what is sometimes considered alternative or integrative medicine.

The focus is on prevention through nutrition, diet and exercise. Laboratory testing and any number of lifestyle modifications may be used. You may be able to discontinue some medications, but you may remain on them.

Call your doctor to find out if she or he practices Functional Medicine or go to Lifescape Medical Associates to find out more at http://lifescapepremier.com/

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