getting started with Functional Medicine

In today's complex world of healthcare, doctors are finding many new and innovative ways to help patients deal with whatever conditions they may be facing. 

As a result, one of the most promising trends is functional medicine, which puts aside many of today's current treatment methods and instead takes an entirely different approach to the relationship between doctor and patient.

Underlying Causes
When doctors need to diagnose a patient, the principles of functional medicine allow them to do so in a much more effective manner. While traditional diagnostic methods have focused on a disease-centered practice, today's doctors take a more patient-centered approach. In doing so, the patient and doctor are entered into a therapeutic partnership that addresses the whole person, rather than simply an isolated set of symptoms. Viewed as a 21st-century medical revolution, functional medicine allows for a much more individualized approach to treatment.

The Functional Medicine Experience
Because functional medicine focuses so much on the individual patient, doctors use a variety of methods to gain a better understanding of the person's situation. Choosing to spend a considerable amount of time speaking with their patients, doctors are able to listen to the person's medical history and look at the interactions among many areas. Genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors are examined for ways in which they may be working together to influence a person's current health as well as long-term health. Realizing that each patient ultimately has a unique way of expressing their health needs, functional medicine practitioners are committed to being fully engaged with each case.

A Different Approach
For many doctors, what makes functional medicine so promising is the different approach it allows them to take with their patients. Rather than relying on old-style methods that have been surpassed by today's innovative healthcare strategies, functional medicine pushes aside the acute-care approach that only addresses a problem once it becomes evident. Instead, it relies on a operating system utilizing a clinical model to assess, treat, and prevent chronic disease. By doing so, it allows doctors as well as patients to gain a better understanding of how a person's everyday living can in fact be a major factor in the emergence and progression of chronic disease.

A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare
Perhaps above all, functional medicine represents a paradigm shift in modern healthcare. As something that embodies both the art and science of medicine, functional medicine attempts to integrate what doctors know about the human body with the latest techniques in science-based, patient-centered care. Attempting to lend insight into very comprehensive healthcare problems, functional medicine is set up to encourage doctors and patients to listen to one another and examine how changes in certain lifestyle areas may significantly impact a person's overall health. If all goes well, the result will be a very effective response to chronic disease.

Core Principles
As with any effective treatment method in healthcare, it has to be guided by a set of core principles. This also applies to functional medicine, which recognizes the relationship between a patient's individuality and the dynamic balance of mind, body, and spirit. By always keeping this in mind, today's healthcare practitioners are at the forefront of a medical revolution. As the 21st-century moves forward, there's no doubt functional medicine will continue to make great strides.