What the Heck is Functional Medicine?

To understand what I will be sharing, it is important to first understand what functional medicine is.  The Institute for Functional Medicine offers a very susinct definition on their website, http://www.functionalmedicine.org/

Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. It is a science-based field of health care that is grounded in the following principles:

  • Biochemical individuality describes the importance of individual variations in metabolic function that derive from genetic and environmental differences among individuals.
  • Patient-centered medicine emphasizes ‘patient care’ rather than ‘disease care,’ following Sir William Osler’s admonition that ‘It is more important to know what patient has the disease than to know what disease the patient has.’
  • Dynamic balance of internal and external factors.
  • Web-like interconnections of physiological factors – an abundance of research now supports the view that the human body functions as an orchestrated network of interconnected systems, rather than individual systems functioning autonomously and without effect on each other. For example, we now know that immunological dysfunctions can promote cardiovascular disease, that dietary imbalances can cause hormonal disturbances, and that environmental exposures can precipitate neurologic syndromes such as Parkinson’s disease.
  • Health as a positive vitality – not merely the absence of disease.
  • Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance health span.”

I will be writing a lot about functional medicine in this blog, but for more immediate and technical information on functional medicine, please explore the Institute’s website at http://www.functionalmedicine.org/index.asp.  The site includes information for patients, educational opportunities for professionals, and a directory of doctors who practice the functional medicine approach.

Remember, knowledge is the power to heal yourself.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Christine
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 20:18:50

    This is fabulous Patrice! Functional medicine sounds very interesting indeed!


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