What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is a healthcare model that treats each individual as a unique person rather than a statistic. It takes a system-oriented approach to identify the root cause of medical problems, starting with the patient's medical history before conception. Functional medicine practitioners spend ample time with their patients, listening to their history and symptoms while assessing the interactions of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that may be affecting their health. They assess the whole person, rather than just isolated symptoms, and work in a therapeutic partnership with patients.

Functional medicine is necessary when traditional healthcare models fail to adequately address complex, chronic medical conditions that require a holistic approach. It differs from traditional medicine in that it focuses on the patient as an individual and assesses all factors of their health, including physical, emotional, and social stress, hormonal balance, genetics/family history, symptoms, physiology, vitamin/nutritional status, chemical and toxic exposures, energy production/expenditure, dietary intake, sleep hygiene, immune strength, and bowel and gut health. Functional medicine practitioners may use natural remedies whenever possible but may also utilize prescriptions to improve symptoms and facilitate healing.

Why consider functional medicine?

  • Seeking functional medicine can provide a more personalized approach to healthcare.
  • Functional medicine practitioners aim to identify the root cause of medical problems.
  • This approach evaluates the whole person, not just isolated symptoms.
  • Functional medicine involves a system-oriented approach that engages patients in a therapeutic partnership with their practitioners.
  • Chronic conditions require special attention and can benefit from the holistic approach offered by functional medicine.
  • Functional medicine practitioners spend ample time with their patients, listening to their history and symptoms while considering genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
  • Traditional acute care approaches may not be effective for complex, chronic medical conditions.
  • Prescription medication may be used in functional medicine when needed, but practitioners prefer natural remedies when possible.
  • Functional medicine emphasizes the importance of nutrition and food as medicine.
  • Seeking functional medicine can be a solution for those who feel that their previous healthcare providers did not adequately address their needs.

    How is functional medicine different from traditional medicine?

    Patient-Centered: We evaluate a patient's entire medical history, starting from before conception and continuing throughout their life. We then develop a personalized treatment plan that includes a variety of approaches such as food plans, supplements, exercise, and stress reduction techniques. While traditional medicine often focuses on treating symptoms with medication or surgery, functional medicine takes a holistic approach that addresses the underlying causes of illness and disease.

    Physical, Emotional, and Social Stress

    • Hormonal balance
    • Genetics / Family History
    • Symptoms
    • Physiology
    • Vitamin / Nutritional Status
    • Chemical and Toxic Exposures
    • Energy Production / Expenditure
    • Dietary Intake
    • Sleep Hygiene
    • Immune Strength
    • Bowel and Gut Health
    • Physical Exertion / Exercise

    At our functional medicine visits, your care will always involve our holistic and functional medicine nutritionist who utilizes foods, digestive support, probiotics, and other supplements to facilitate healing.

    Does your functional medicine practitioner utilize prescriptions?

    Although functional medicine practitioners prefer to use natural remedies whenever possible, prescriptions are often needed to begin the healing process, improve symptoms in order to facilitate the healing process, or overcome genetic problems. For instance, sleep is critical for recovery and improvement of chronic medical conditions. If a patient is unable to sleep naturally or with herbal supplements like Valerian root, we will utilize the appropriate sleeping medications.