Functional Medicine is a form of alternative medicine. Its proponents claim that it focuses on the ‘root causes’ of diseases based on interactions between the environment and the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems to develop ‘individualized treatment plans’ -Wikipedia
The very basis of chiropractic treatment is very compatible and complementary to functional medicine as each uses the concept of maximizing a patient’s health and uses tools available to do so.
A functional medicine practitioner will sit down with a patient and gather data of their lifestyle, medical history, stress levels and more. Instead of just finding out what is wrong and trying to directly “fix” it, they will explore the body further to find the root cause and handle it thus enabling the body to heal itself in effect. So therefore, they are enhancing your vitality, not just treating a specific disease. A medical doctor in many cases will give a prescription for a symptom or a disease. When that drug causes a side effect they will then treat that side effect, many times with another drug.
The role of a functional medical doctor is to understand what is behind the disease or the symptom, and heal that first, enabling the body to then heal naturally. They don’t wait until it becomes a pathology as most medical doctors are trained to do but will begin to treat the body when it is having non-optimal symptoms and issues that do not register yet as disease and yet are causing the patient some kind of distress.
Some of these modalities that some chiropractors have added to their practice include nutritional counseling, acupuncture, massage, PEMF as described in our last blog and lifestyle changes. These can include dietary changes whether temporary or permanent, initially such a chiropractor who has included functional medicine will take a lot longer with a new patient to really find out what is going on for them and to understand their life and physical challenges. Such doctors are likely to refer a patient to another practitioner if he feels that doctor will complement the treatment he is giving them. In addition, such a practitioner will often speak to a patient about their emotional and spiritual life such as relationships, occupations, stress at home, at work and whatever else may affect his wellbeing. Functional medicine doctors are very tuned into the fact that all life factors affect our health.
The approach utilized in our practice defines functional Medicine as a comprehensive review and treatment of the structure, biochemical and emotional make-up of each patient, customized to their individual needs.
What brings a doctor to take on such wide array of seemingly unrelated modaltites? Its simple. The truly relentless desire to see their patients return to health and vitality. Some medical doctors in addition to chiropractors have taken this on as they have learned that only going the drug and surgery route does not necessarily bring as healthy an outcome as hoped for.
This isn’t the easiest road a doctor can take. But it can be a very rewarding direction as you see patients who were really suffering come back to health and you know its truly health and not symptom masking.