What is Functional Medicine?

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“…that a disease is complex or multifactorial does not imply that simple solutions cannot be found or that clinical advance following insight cannot be swift.”

[Rees, J. Science, 2002; 296:698-701]

Functional Medicine involves understanding the etiology, prevention and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological, psychological, and structural balance.

Seven basic principles influence the functional medicine approach:

  • Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.
  • Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.
  • Patient-centered care rather than disease-focused.
  • Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
  • Web-like interconnections of physiological processes.
  • Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
  • Promotion of organ reserve – healthspan.

Using these principles, functional medicine practitioners focus on understanding the fundamental physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predispositions that influence every patient’s experience of health and disease.

Environmental inputs include the air and water in your community, the particular diet you eat, the quality of the food available to you, physical exercise, psychosocial factors, and toxic exposures or traumas you may have experienced.

Genetic predisposition is not an unavoidable outcome for your life; your genes may be influenced by everything in your environment, plus your experience, attitudes and beliefs. That means it is possible to change the way genes are expressed (activated and experienced).

Science-based medicine that connects the emerging research base to clinical practice.

  • Biochemical individuality based on genetic and environmental uniqueness.
  • Patient-centered care rather than disease-focused.
  • Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
  • Web-like interconnections of physiological processes.
  • Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
  • Promotion of organ reserve – healthspan.