Functional Medicine is a dynamic approach to assessing, treating, and preventing chronic disease systems. Functional Medicine is an allopathic approach to healing – that is, the practice of identifying and improving dysfunctions in the physiology and biochemistry of the human body that go beyond the disease specifics, as a primary method of improving patient health.
Each patient therefore represents a unique complex and interwoven set of influences, intrinsic functionality that has set the stage for the development of disease as well as the maintenance and restoration of health.
The goal of Functional Medicine is to treat the disease condition through more than just symptom treatment, achieving the overall balance and functionality in the body that creates momentum towards health. Conventional medicine normally acts either when a diagnosis can be made, or when signs and symptoms are severe enough to demand a clinical intervention.
Functional Medicine practitioners certainly do intervene when a diagnosis has already been made, but they also move beyond the conventional medical diagnostics and treatments to evaluate the patient’s system functionality at a much earlier stage, with a goal of averting the disease outcome and/or its secondary effects and restoring balance to a dysfunctional system through the strengthening of fundamental underlying physiological processes and adjusting the environmental inputs that nurture or impair them.
Functional Medicine is not a departure from traditional medicine, but rather, acknowledges that chronic disease is almost always preceded by a lengthy period of declining function in one or more of the body systems.
Returning a patient to health requires reversing or substantially improving the specific dysfunctions that have contributed to the disease state. We recognize that a disease does not appear “over night’, but rather that the dysfunction of disease is the result of lifelong interactions between our environment and our genetic predispositions.