What is Functional Medicine?
Functional medicine is, at its core, a partnership of patient and practitioner. Functional medicine focuses on prevention and seeks to address the underlying causes of disease. Functional medicine uses a systems-oriented approach in order to identify imbalances in the body that may cause illness and disease.
Many functional medicine practitioners also utilize an integrative medicine approach. Integrative medicine seeks to treat the whole person — body, mind, spirit, and environment. Functional medicine when paired with integrative medicine can be highly effective in helping patients use their own body’s innate abilities to reach a higher state of health and wellbeing. At InShape Medical, we believe strongly in this approach to medicine and utilize it in our own lives.
What is the Difference Between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine?
Functional medicine and conventional medicine are similar in some important ways. Both medical models are practiced by licensed medical professionals. Additionally, they are both also evidence-based, use diagnostic testing, and may also use prescription medications.
In general, conventional medicine is excellent in caring for patients with acute and urgent medical conditions, such as heart attacks, broken bones, or other acute traumas. Medical specialists & surgeons, urgent care facilities, emergency rooms, hospital staff, etc. have a very important role in the delivery of quality healthcare to patients. These conventional medicine practitioners are typically very effective at treating these acute health problems.
Functional medicine, however, differs from conventional medicine in that the focus is on treating the underlying cause rather than focusing on treating the symptoms. By treating underlying causes, symptoms may be reduced, or eliminated entirely. Conversely, conventional medicine often focuses on symptoms, which may result in long term use of medications that produce side effects and potential harm to the body’s systems.
Functional medicine practitioners believe that each patient is unique in their circumstances. Therefore, each patient’s individual needs are assessed in developing a plan for optimal health, taking the whole person into consideration.
Important Points to Remember About Functional Medicine:
- Health & Wellbeing Oriented
- Patient Centered
- Personal, Individualized Approach
- Partnership between Patient & Practitioner
- Understands the Connectivity of Mind & Body
- Uses a Bodily Systems Approach
- Understands and Treats the Root Causes of Illness and Disease
We hope that you’ll allow the practitioners at InShape Medical the opportunity to partner with you in reaching the best health and wellbeing possible for you. Contact us today to schedule your first in-depth functional medicine consultation.