...at least, my thoughts of it.
I like to think of Functional Medicine as “holistic Western-Medicine”. “Holistic” and “Western-Medicine” are pretty much oxymorons, and Functional Medicine is as close as Western Medicine gets to looking at the mind and body from a holistic perspective.
The basic principles of Functional Medicine include:
Functional Medicine recognizes each person is a unique individual and treatment must be personalized to their individual needs.
Functional Medicine attempts to treat root cause of ailments and not just the symptoms.
Functional Medicine is science-based and guided by the latest advances in modern medicine.
Your body has the capacity for self-regulation when the underlying loss of function is addressed.
Functional Medicine supports the natural healing mechanisms of the body rather than just attacking a disease.
Health is not just the absence of ailments. Health is living with a vibrant quality of balance.
To all this, I say… “Duh…”
In some ways, I find these principles which differentiate Western Medicine from Functional Medicine a bit ridiculous. It is amazing that such a dichotomy exists.
Of course, each person is unique!
Of course, treatment plans that treat the root cause are exponentially more effective than those that only address symptoms!
Of course, the body can heal itself!
Of course, being truly healthy is very different from just not being sick!
Of course! How could these principles be anything but self-evident?!?
Yet, these principles are not self-evident. In fact, these principles are, in many ways, the exact opposite of most conventional care we have today.
Sad and crazy, but true.
Most Functional Medicine practitioners began as conventional Western Medicine practitioners who then migrated into a more holistic approach to medicine, Functional Medicine. This may have been a huge shift for these practitioners. I imagine it is challenging to question some of the fundamental principles upon which their understanding of health and healing is based. To these practitioners, I say, “Congratulations. Well done.”
I, on the other hand, began in holistic Eastern Medicine and progressively incorporated more Western and Functional Medicine perspectives, approaches, tools, and treatments into an already existing holistic approach to healthcare. Philosophically, I cannot view the health and happiness of every client any way other than holistically, because you are in fact, a whole person. I also recognize the pros and cons of all things, including the perspectives, diagnostics, and treatment methodologies of all disciplines of medicine. Our modern world has given rise to a number of pathologies that can slip through the diagnostic tools and treatment methods of Oriental Medicine alone. Likewise, there are so many pathologies that are completely missed and insufficiently treated with conventional Western Medicine alone.
By combining the best of various medical models (Eastern, Functional, Bio-Medical Western), I am able to offer much more comprehensive medicine and as a result, improve clinical outcomes, and provide solutions to problems where no answers have yet been found.
“Both-and” is much more effective than “either-or”.
"By combining the best of various medical models (Eastern, Functional, Bio-Medical Western), I able to offer much more comprehensive medicine, improve clinical outcomes, and provide solutions to problems where no answers have yet been found."