What is Functional Medicine? A Patient-Centered Approach to Achieving Health

Functional Medicine is an emerging health care model which involves treating patients as whole people while also focusing on the details of the highly-interconnected and complex biochemical systems at work in our bodies. In functional medicine, doctors and patients work collaboratively to grasp the complete picture of the patient’s health status and address the underlying causes of diseases and chronic conditions. Practitioners of functional medicine spend significantly more time with each of their patients, reviewing and understanding their personal and family medical histories along with genetic, environmental, and lifestyle-based influencers of health.

Functional medicine is not a rejection of traditional or conventional medical practices: it is an extension of them. Focusing on specific dysfunctions and imbalances present in each unique patient, functional medicine targets the root of chronic illnesses perhaps even before identifiable symptoms appear. Using scientific information from the latest clinical research to inform our approach to comprehensive care and primary prevention, functional medicine seeks a dynamic balance between internal and external factors of patients’ minds, bodies, and spirits. In this functional application of medical science, health is seen as a positive vitality rather than simply the absence of disease.

Functional Medicine at Essential Health & Wellness

Taking the Time to Treat Our Patients as Whole Systems

At Essential Health & Wellness, we are proud to practice functional medicine as part of our dedication to providing personalized medicine, taking the time needed to engage with each patient and illuminate their histories and map their personal timelines. We consider the patient’s unique dysfunctions and imbalances and the interactions between environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors that influence long-term health and chronic diseases. While we recognize that this style of practice reduces the number of patients we can treat, we are pleased to focus on quality of personalized care over quantity. Each of our patients has the opportunity to become an active partner in their own health and wellness, rather than a passive receiver of treatment. This helps us ensure that the interventions and therapies we help our patients select are accurately targeted, bringing about the most effective results possible.

We also understand that a single disease or condition may have many causes, just as a single imbalance can be the cause of many seemingly unrelated conditions. This understanding drives us to see the bigger picture of our patients’ individual medical statuses, integrating and distilling this information so that it can be applied effectively in specifically-targeted interventions. In these ways, the functional approach to medicine helps us at Essential Health uphold our commitment to delivering personalized medicine to each of our patients.

Functional Medicine was last modified: September 15th, 2015 by Essential Health and Wellness

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