Having just spent an amazing and intense 5 days in London, training with over 350 Nutritional Therapists, GP's, Osteopaths, Medics, Chiropractors, Herbalists and other health professionals, I have been asked several times, 'What is Functional Medicine?' So,.....here goes.........
The Functional Medicine model is an individualised, patient-centred, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalised treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.
By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and, likewise, one cause may result in many different conditions. As a result, Functional Medicine treatment targets the specific manifestations of disease in each individual.
The analogy is one of a large tree with many branches and roots but instead of looking at the leaves or tip of the branch where the disease and symptoms are found, the focus instead is at the roots where lifestyle and environmental factors are the basis for health.
Nutrition, sleep & relaxation, stress management, exercise and relationships can have a profound effect on a persons health. Equally important are mental, emotional and spiritual influences as well as ones attitudes and beliefs. Genetic predispositions must of course be taken into consideration however we have the ability to modify how our genes manifest and express themselves through all of the above.
It's empowering to know how much influence you can have over your own health don't you think?