Entering the 21st century has brought on a new and holistic approach to medicine as a whole. While many conventional medicinal practices focus solely on treating a disease, the new age of medical treatment has shifted to treating the whole patient as opposed to just treating the disease.
So, what exactly is functional medicine?
Peak Health, a functional medicine practice in Denver, defines functional medicine as a form of health care, which works and particularly focuses on curing the whole immune system of the patient. The most deciding difference between functional medicine and traditional medicine techniques is in the root cause analysis of a disease. While a traditional medical approach to a disease or illness revolves around matching the proper drug or treatment with a disease or its symptoms, functional medicine focuses more on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the disease rather than the ‘what’. Functional medicine aims to answer the questions of: ‘why is this happening to you and how can we restore function?’
Functional medicine recognizes the differences between each person’s body on a biological level, and uses that knowledge to provide patient customizable care. Instead of the cookie cutter approach to traditional medicine, functional medicine aims to scientifically investigate the underlying cause of a person’s discomfort or illness. This systems-oriented medical approach seeks to integrate a person’s mind, body and soul into their diagnosis. Typically there is a certain level of lifestyle, environmental and genetic research done to identify the root cause of a patient’s disease; once a root cause is identified treatment options are discussed and executed.
Some of the principles that functional medicine is based on are:
- Incorporate lifestyle medicine (i.e. nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise) to aid in curing or preventing disease
- Your body has the ability to heal itself if properly taken care of and treated
- The patient’s disease isn’t treated, the patient is
- A Scientific analysis between the internal and external factors of a person’s lifestyle and how that impacts their health
- Health is not the absence of disease
When you are seeing a functional medical professional, it is more like a partnership than anything else. Due to the deep level of research into a patient’s biological makeup and environmental influences, a functional practitioner and his or her patient usually have a much closer relationship than a conventional doctor and his or her patient. Visiting a functional medicine practice opens your healthcare options up to a wider range of treatment methods. Because of the in-depth analysis of a person’s health functional medicine provides, doctors are able to identify if a patient’s disease stems from just one cause or multiple causes. Again, each human being is different on many levels, and so functional medicine accounts for these biological variances to provide the most personalized and effective healthcare. Therapies and treatments vary depending on each practice. If you want to learn more about functional medicine in the Denver area, check out Peak Health Partners and the many conditions and treatment methods they specialize in.